Monday, November 16, 2015

Don't Get Stuck!

Sharps injuries?

Sharps injuries are a significant injury and health hazard for health care workers and also result in a number of direct and indirect organizational costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among health care workers in hospitals. More recent data from the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet™) suggest these injuries can be reduced, as sharps-related injuries in nonsurgical hospital settings decreased 31.6% during 2001–2006 (following the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000). However, injuries in surgical settings increased 6.5% in the same period, where adoption of safety devices was limited compared to nonsurgical settings. It has been estimated about half or more of sharps injuries go unreported. Most reported sharps injuries involve nursing staff, but laboratory staff, physicians, housekeepers, and other health care workers are also injured.

Campaign goal and target audience

Reducing sharps injuries first requires that health care workers have a full understanding of the magnitude of the problem. The STOP STICKS campaign focuses on raising awareness which, in turn, prepares and motivates health care workers to make the changes needed to reduce sharps injuries. Change itself requires a shift in the organization's safety culture and use of safer sharps devices and practices, and management support is a critical component of any change initiative.
The STOP STICKS campaign is a community-based information and education program. Its goal is to raise awareness about the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C from needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries in the workplace. While the campaign materials were developed mainly with operating room and emergency department audiences, the target audience includes clinical and nonclinical health care workers and health care administrators in hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, and home health care agencies.

How the STOP STICKS campaign was developed

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed the materials available through this website by conducting a multiyear pilot project in Columbia, South Carolina. Other partners involved with NIOSH in pilot testing this campaign and developing the tools necessary to conduct your own awareness campaign include Palmetto Health Alliance, Dorn VA Hospital, CM Tucker Nursing Care Center, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, PHT Services, the Association of Professionals in Infection Control, the University of South Carolina School of Public Health, the South Carolina Nurses Association, and other local Columbia, SC health care employers.
The tools available for conducting your own STOP STICKS campaign are highly customizable so that you can decide which components best fit the needs of your facility. You may choose to conduct a complete campaign, or only use certain components, depending on the needs and resources available at your facility. The STOP STICKS campaign may be presented as a stand-alone initiative, or it may be tied with other initiatives, such as introduction of a new safety device or an annual refresher to remind staff of the hazards associated with sharps injuries.

What is a "safety campaign" and a "communication blitz"?

A safety campaign is a series of strategic communication initiatives designed to convey a consistent key message targeting a safety need. In this sharps injuries campaign, the key message is "STOP STICKS."

The communication blitz is a component of the safety campaign and refers to brief, targeted communication interventions that bring attention to the safety campaign goals. Specifically, the blitzes for the STOP STICKS campaign focus on bloodborne pathogens, exposure prevention methods, equipment evaluation, and proper post-exposure prophylaxis protocols. The blitzes feature posters, newsletters, health and safety fairs, exhibits, and videos, among other communication methods and channels to communicate the campaign message.

STOP STICKS campaign guide and resources

These websites includes guidance on how to prepare blitzesuse templates and other media resources in preparing the blitz materials, implement the blitzes, and evaluate the campaign outcomes. See the full list of campaign resources on the menu at left.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I Hate those Videos from the American Heart

We have been teaching CPR, ACLS, and PALS for over 5 years now and I always get the same complaint from many students.  "Why do we have to watch those stupid videos?" 
We know that some of the videos you watch can be boring or repetitive; however, there is a madness behind the methods from the American Heart Association.
A recent student from the
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania finds "using a video to train members of patients at risk for cardiac arrest in CPR may be just as effective as using the traditional hands-on method with a manikin."
"The findings suggest simplified and more cost-effective approaches may be useful for disseminating CPR education to families of at-risk patients and the general public. The results are being presented during the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2015."(Abella, MD, MPhil)
The cardiac arrests in the United States are typically responded and treated by CPR delivered by bystanders, "a fact which has prompted calls for improved CPR education to empower the public to take action."(Abella, MD, MPhil) 
 This typically occurs in Less than 40 percent of bystanders. A few studies have shown that using a video for self-instruction which may include a small inflatable manikin is helpful in remembering the basics of CPR.  However, the cost of such kits is often not affordable by laypersons. Also, since these kits require the use of a manikin, they are limited in their use compared to video-only approaches which can be used to train larger groups.

“Most cardiac arrests take place in the home, where a patient’s best chance of survival is having a family member who knows and can properly administer CPR,” said the new study’s lead author, Audrey L. Blewer, MPH, assistant director for Educational Programs in Penn’s Center for Resuscitation Science, who will present the results. “Traditional training classes involve several hours of group classes and can cost upwards of $100 or more per person. These classes are more commonly used by health professionals, lifeguards and people in other professions where mastery of CPR and certification are necessary. What the new study shows is that for the general public, where cost and time may be more of a concern, using only video instruction may be just as helpful in teaching the basics of CPR as using a hands-on method.”(Abella, MD, MPhil)

In the study, there were more than 1,600 family members of patients identified as being at-risk for a cardiac arrest across eight hospitals were trained in CPR using either the video-only method, or the self instructed method. Six months after training, researchers tested participants to evaluate their long-term retention of properly performing CPR. Results indicated that while there were small differences in the depth of chest compressions among the groups, the overall ability to properly perform CPR was similar. Recent research also suggests the difference in compression depth may be insignificant to a patient’s chance of survival.
“The study has great potential for helping to increase the opportunity for CPR education among the public, and especially for groups of people who may not have access to training programs otherwise,” said senior author, Benjamin S. Abella, MD, MPhil, an associate professor of Emergency Medicine and clinical research director of the Center for Resuscitation Science at Penn Medicine. “Knowing that the manikin may not be necessary for basic training, we could conceivably show CPR training videos in public places, such as a doctor’s waiting room or at the DMV, and they will actually be beneficial in providing this life-saving skill.”(Abella, MD, MPhil)

Abella, MD, MPhil, B., & Blewer, MPH, A. (2015, November 8). Video-Based CPR Training May be as Valuable as Hands-On Approach, Penn Study Finds. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Disability gets sexy thanks to a nurse with Crohn's disease

reprinted with the permission of

"Jasmine Stacey, 24, a nurse in the UK has Crohn's disease. 
She underwent surgery to remove part of her intestine when she was 20 years old and needed an ileostomy bag.
Jasmine has launched a new line of luxury lingerie that allows women who also have stoma bags to feel sexy again.
The nurse/designer said she was "inspired to come up with a stylish range of underwear by the lack of seductive garments available for women in her position".
"I want to take the stigma away from having a stoma bag and prove you can still be sexy with underwear. 
"I want to get the message out there that it is not as bad as people think and that young people have stoma bags as well as old people."

"We hope our underwear is stylish without being flimsy and empowers women to feel confident whether they have stoma bags, scars, or simply want more stomach control."