Disposable safety straps on the OR table

  1. My hospital switched to disposable safety straps on the OR tables. Originally it was intended to change after each surgical patient. Due to "budget" they are only changed after visably soiled. Even though they are wiped with a disinfectant after each case I don't feel they are adequately cleaned because of the velcro. I don't think the cleaner penetrates the depth of the velcro. In this age of MRSA/ORSA/VRE I think they should be disposed of after each use....Am I being too stringent?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   chartleypj
    pstar,

    If the disposable item says it is for 'single use only', I am not sure the hospital is offering your patient the same standard of care by not offering each patient a 'new' one. For example, given 5 're-uses ' per item, each 6th pateint gets the 'new' item and pts 2-5 get 'uesd' items.
    In addition, I would think the item must be cleaned according to Mfg. specifications if it were to be re-used. Also, the company may not stand by (legally) their product if it is intended for one-time-use and it is not used according to the way it is sold.
    Just my food for thought,
    Pj
  4. by   ewattsjt
    Quote from chartleypj
    pstar,

    if the disposable item says it is for 'single use only', i am not sure the hospital is offering your patient the same standard of care by not offering each patient a 'new' one. for example, given 5 're-uses ' per item, each 6th pateint gets the 'new' item and pts 2-5 get 'uesd' items.
    in addition, i would think the item must be cleaned according to mfg. specifications if it were to be re-used. also, the company may not stand by (legally) their product if it is intended for one-time-use and it is not used according to the way it is sold.
    just my food for thought,
    pj
    i agree with pj. if something happened with the reused product and the mfg. rated it for single use, the facility would be liable. do you have something that states that you are directed to do so or maybe something written that shows your disapproval of this? if not, just for your personal protection you should consider it.

    if the safety strap or any other single use item is not a part of the standard or fee and it is a chargeable item that was reused, it would be insurance fraud too.
  5. by   Abuelita
    Ewwwwwwww. This makes me think twice about having surgery!
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    We use the velcro safety straps. They are a single use product and we use them as such.
  7. by   passionate
    Like anything else--once it staes it is single use that is how it is intended to be used. Keep throwing them out, see how quickly the non-disposable strap re-appears. Or if that is too risky for you, take it up with your risk manager of the hospital. They are good listeners and have "liability" ears!!!
  8. by   BloodNGuts
    You are not being too stringent. Hospitals are nasty little germ factories. The straps should be single use only as the manufacturer states.
  9. by   pjj8653
    We use re-usable safety straps and there is no set schedule for cleaning. They get wiped down at the end of the case by housekeeping, but how do you wipe down velco and fabric effectively? I am hoping my boss and our budget can entertain the idea of disposable safety straps. I would also like to have disposable BP cuffs and EKG leads. These 3 items are non-disposable in my hospital and they have been a thorn in my side for years. I do not believe thay can be wiped down effectively between cases. Does anyone who has used these disposable items please give me a ballpark idea for what they cost per patient . Thanks. Sincerely, PJJ
  10. by   Mr. & Mrs. RN
    If you are using it off-label, you and the hospital could be liable. I didn't know this, but the SCD tubing is rated single-use also.
  11. by   Rose_Queen
    We have "turnover kits" that include: paper sheet, paper draw sheet, paper armboard covers with disposable straps, and disposable safety straps. Also includes single use mop head, trash bags, and linen bag.

    We used to have non-disposable straps that we did throw out after known isolation cases, and I preferred them because they had more strength and were a good two inches wider. The disposable ones actually stretch, and we've needed more people than we used to to help hold down the ones who fight while waking up.
  12. by   TCASII
    Jeez, the stuff I saw "recycled" in the OR way back in 2000 made me sick. This was an affluent hospital that you would never expect to cut such corners. Meanwhile, they built lavish decorative displays on the property that didn't contribute to any patient's care. Made me sick. Some of their cost saving measures only ended up costing them more, I'm sure. They started buying these really cheap gloves that ripped about 80% of the time out of the box. Yeah, saving money. Then they tried to tell us to reuse anesthesia tubing! I didn't think that was right at all. They were nuts. I threw away anything that was supposed to be discarded, but some people were very conforming of the new rules.

    Reminded me of when I worked for a well-known Mexican food restaurant that made us reuse salsa. Yes! We had to put the salsa back! I never did, but I had to hide it from the wait staff.
  13. by   fracturenurse
    Yeah, we switched to the disposable BP cuffs in the OR as well. Single use only, one per patient, right? Nope, we are supposed to wrap it in a 1010 when prepping so we don't get betadine on it so we can reuse them on the next patient. Half of them are all stained with Betadine and you can see it. (they are white) At least when we used the other BP cuffs you couldn't see all the Betadine stains! Why did we even bother to switch to these if we wipe them down and reuse them???
  14. by   PetiteOpRN
    If they are single use items, can't you charge the patient for them? If the patient is charged, the cost should not be an issue for the hospital, right?

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