(From the October 2016 Issue of MedStat)
In the healthcare setting, all healthcare workers must be aware of the personal protective equipment (PPE) available to prevent bodily injury or infection. PPE prevents injuries that are physical, electrical, thermal, chemical or biological in nature. Everyone is familiar with the use of gowns, gloves, masks and head coverings. However, were you aware that the lead shielding worn during radiological procedures is a form of PPE? When you must remain at the patient’s bedside while a radiologic procedure is being performed, always wear the protective lead aprons that are available to prevent radiation exposure.
Sometimes medical equipment failures contribute to patient harm. However, it may not be obvious that the equipment is defective. Some hospital staff members have the mistaken impression that medical equipment should be sequestered only if it appears to have malfunctioned mechanically. The policy at Nationwide Children’s requires that any equipment involved in an adverse patient event must be sequestered for evaluation … even if you think it was working fine.
For additional information, contact Rick McClead, MD, associate chief medical officer at (614) 722-5121 or email Richard.McClead@NationwideChildrens.org.