Insightful eye defense During last year’s Association of periOp- erative Registered Nurses (AORN) Surgi- cal Conference & Expo, TIDI Products conducted an informal postcard survey of clinicians on eye splash incidence and eye protection compliance. The responses were a little unsettling, indicating that while eye splash incidences are a common result of not wearing PPE — 59 percent reported an eye splash or near miss — 36 percent also felt the incidents were underreported. Research shows eye exposure accidents outpace other blood and body fl uid exposures. Evelina Leece, Direc- tor of Marketing, Acute Care Consumables, TIDI Products, said there were three top reasons for non-compliance given by survey respondents. They said eye protection is not readily available and on the wall next to the gloves; it required time-consuming assem- bly and some parts are

TIDIShield Grab ‘n Go Eye Shields by TIDI Products

often missing (they have the lenses but no frames and vice versa); and they don’t feel there is enough time to locate and don the eyewear.

“From tradeshows and survey data [HCWs tell us] eyewear wasn’t easy to fi nd, or it required a technical degree to put the eyewear together,” said Leece. “Staff is using their own prescription eyewear as protective eyewear. We have a clinical study that shows the levels of contamina- tion for reusable eyewear are staggering. Staff members have mentioned at trade- shows that they just don’t have the time to fi nd the eyewear when they are rushing

into a patient’s room, or during emergency situations. This is more pervasive in all HCW situations due to availability, but especially clinicians that tend to deal with more emergency situations.” TIDI’s lightweight Grab ‘n Go preas-

sembled eyewear offers a solution with a convenient dispenser at point of use and wraparound design with optical grade shield. The eyewear also fi ts over prescrip- tion glasses. “A hospital in Southern Cali- fornia reported they successfully avoided 15 eye splashes by wearing TIDI’s Grab ‘n Go eye shields in a three-month period,” said Leece. “TIDI Products offers a process im- provement program EyeSplash Zero that as- sists in reducing eye splashes and improving healthcare worker’s safety.” The TIDIShield EyeSplash Zero Process Improvement Pro- gram also provides a calculator that facilities can use to determine the impact eye splash incidents have on worker safety and costs. For example, by avoiding 19.2 eye splash incidents facilities can save an average $113,664 or more per year. (Access the cal- culator on the TIDI website.3

) Product integrity

As compliance issues remain a challenge, another prominent theme in this year’s conversa- tion involves questions about the quality and safety of PPE itself, particularly gloves and gowns. The TV news program 60 Min- utes caused a stir earlier this year when a whistleblower claimed that Halyard Health sold defective, strikethrough-prone surgical gowns to hospitals during and after the Ebola outbreak.

The former employee said the company’s MICROCOOL surgical gowns, which pur- port to provide AAMI Level 4 protection, did not meet those industry standards but were “recommended aggressively” anyway. The company vehemently denies the allega- tions and says the gown “meets ASTM 1671 testing for all critical zones, including gown fabric, tie attachment, and sleeve seams, per its cleared standard (AAMI PB70:2003) and per the current, more demanding, AAMI PB70 standard, which was revised in 2012 and recognized by the Food and Drug Ad- ministration (FDA) in 2013.”

Yet, in the wake of such an unsettling re-

port — whether true or false — it’s fair to say that clinicians and supply chain profession- als have a right to feel concerned. Healthcare Purchasing News asked Chris Lowery, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Offi cer, Halyard Health, to answer a few questions shortly after his appearance on the program. “The 60 Minutes story essentially retold allegations about our MICROCOOL sur- gical gowns that have been the subject of an ongoing litigation that began in October 2014,” Lowery said in an email. “We reject those allegations. We understand, however, that the 60 Minutes story may have given the im- pression that MICROCOOL gowns have been the subject of frequent complaints of strikethrough by healthcare providers and that the gowns pose a safety risk. This is simply not true. MICROCOOL is and has always been safe and effective for its intended use and has an excellent track record in the fi eld.”

MICROCOOL Surgical Gown by Halyard Health

The program also featured disturbing photos of surgeons with blood on their skin after doffi ng the MICRO- COOL gowns, something Lowery

Visit 20 July 2016 • HEALTHCARE PURCHASING NEWS • Page 22

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