Erica Mitchell

Recent Posts

3 Reasons Why Patients Get Infections

by Erica Mitchell | July 7 2021

We live in an environment teeming with microscopic organisms. They cover not only the surfaces we touch, but also our skin and even our insides. We are not aware of this bioburden most of the time, and even if we do get the flu or if a cut gets infected, we treat it ourselves and move on without a second thought.

Some of us are not so lucky.

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Post-COVID Preparation [infographic]

by Erica Mitchell | July 2 2021

Last week concluded our series on what the world will look like post-COVID. In our first post, we covered changes made during the pandemic that we want to get back to normal as soon as possible. Our second post discussed changes that should stick around, since they help us stay healthier each day. Our final post suggested some changes we need to make to prepare for the next pandemic, while the lessons from COVID are still in our minds. Today, we present an infographic that lays out the main ideas from this series in a single page. You can download this infographic to share with colleagues and maybe stimulate conversations for your facility. Let us know what we left out! We all need to share lessons to help us prepare for the future.

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The Most Common Sites and Types of Hospital Acquired Infections

by Erica Mitchell | June 30 2021

We are all covered in bacteria. (You could even say we are all contaminated.) Bacteria and other microorganisms live in our gut, in our mucous membranes such as our nostrils, on our eyelashes, and in our bellybuttons. We do not consider ourselves infected, however, because these organisms have not crossed the barrier of our skin to enter our tissues, muscles, bones, and body cavities. These deep parts of our bodies are basically sterile - no microorganisms live there at all. As long as our protective barriers are not breached, we remain healthy. The "contamination" is just part of our microbiome, our own personal little collection of life that we carry around with us all the time. This microbiome is made up of colonies of bacteria, groups of same-species bacteria that live and die without our even being aware of them.

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Post-COVID: How do we plan for the future?

by Erica Mitchell | June 28 2021

In our previous posts in this series, we've discussed the changes brought about by the COVID19 pandemic that we want to see go and those which we want to see stick around. In our final post of the series, we'll present what we learned from the pandemic and need to change before the next one comes. Now that we are all so much more aware that the next pandemic is not an "if" but rather a "when," what more can we do to better prepare so that the next one isn't as medically and economically destructive?

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Hospital Acquired Infections: Kickin' You When You're Already Down

by Erica Mitchell | June 23 2021


 

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The Rules of Engagement: Injection Safety

by Erica Mitchell | June 16 2021

Injections are one of the most common procedures taking place in a medical setting (16 billion administered globally each year). This common procedure presents a significant opportunity for infection since it breaks the skin barrier, may involve products used for multiple patients, and is performed so often that lapses in preventive measures can become serious outbreaks. Today we’ll explore the safety precautions that are in place to prevent patient harm, what lapses are frequent enough to raise an alarm, and what you can do to help support injection safety.

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Post-COVID: What Changes Do We Keep?

by Erica Mitchell | June 14 2021

In our last post, we covered what aspects of daily life, especially in the medical field, we are eager to get back to normal, pre-pandemic life. These are the practices and protocols that we had to put on hold, adapt, or stop during the height of COVID-19 cases and transmission. In today's post, we'll look at some of the changes we made that we should keep doing, those things that we learned to integrate into our daily lives that have benefits beyond a global pandemic. Here are some of those things that should become our new "normal."

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The Rules of Engagement: Reprocessing Medical Devices

by Erica Mitchell | June 9 2021

One element of standard precautions has come under intense scrutiny in recent years: The reprocessing (cleaning for reuse) of medical devices. The proper cleaning of these devices involves complex protocols to ensure infection prevention, protocols with critical steps - from design to storage- that, if not followed, lead to dire, if not fatal, results. Today’s post will explore medical device reprocessing, who regulates them, and some recent outbreaks associated with cleaning lapses or design flaws.

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Post-COVID: What goes back to normal? What stays the same? What changes for the future?

by Erica Mitchell | June 7 2021

As the United States approaches 50% full vaccination rate, businesses are reopening and a return to pre-pandemic life seems within grasp. As we begin to recover from the impact of a year of isolation, social distancing, and the stress of a global public health crisis, which of these changes are we most eager to see return to normal? What habits and protocols do we think should stick around? And finally, what changes must be made before we encounter our next global pandemic? In this series, we will explore each of these categories as we enter a post-pandemic world.

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The Rules of Engagement in the War Against Germs: Standard Contact Precautions

by Erica Mitchell | June 2 2021

Last year, as healthcare workers faced shortages, the world was reminded of some of the “standard precautions” all hospitals operate under to control infection.  This basic level of infection control is to be used at all times for all patients to reduce the risk of transmission of germs including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Not only do these precautions protect the healthcare worker from infection, they protect other patients by reducing the risk of transmission. Today we’ll explore these precautions. In the coming weeks, we will cover how lapses in compliance put patients and healthcare workers at risk, and what you can do as a patient or patient advocate to ensure that the rules are followed.

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© EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.