Happy Thanksgiving!!
Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:58

 
Societies Issue Recommendations on Processing Biohazardous Medical Waste
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:07

"Prompted by questions about how to correctly handle Ebola-contaminated biohazardous medical waste, five societies have issued a joint advisory statement to provide guidance to personnel and health care organizations. The statement from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, Association of Surgical Technologies, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management addresses the use of sterilizers for processing biohazardous waste in a health care facility.

It does not address transporting biohazardous waste or processing of contaminated reusable medical devices and textiles.

They noted this is "an evolving issue and health care professionals should review current research and incorporate new evidence into practice to mitigate occupational and patient risk associated with handling biohazardous medical waste."

The recommendations are:

  • Health care organizations should not circumvent established protocols for handling biohazardous medical waste.
  • Biohazardous medical waste should not be brought into clean areas where processing reusable medical devices is performed.
  • Biohazardous medical waste should not be inactivated in a sterilizer that is used for processing reusable medical devices.
  • Sterilizers used to inactivate biohazardous medical waste should be designed and validated for that particular purpose.
  • Organizations should work with infection preventionists and keep abreast of evolving professional and regulatory guidelines for handling biohazardous medical waste."

Click here for more information!

 
Red Cross Sandy Relief Tops $310 Million
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:00

"The American Red Cross released a report Oct. 22 on the relief it has provided during the two years following "Superstorm" Sandy, which caused major damage across New York, New Jersey, and other northeastern states. The Red Cross has helped tens of thousands of people recover with financial assistance, housing-related expenses, and grants to nonprofit groups. The report shows that the Red Cross has spent or made commitments to spend more than $310 million, or 99 percent of the $311.5 million donated for its Sandy response and recovery work.

"Our work has been possible because of the compassion and generosity of donors, and we have spent the money people donated for Sandy quickly, carefully and wisely – and in line with the intent of our donors," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. "And we're still helping, as the Red Cross and other groups we have funded continue to offer a range of recovery services that meet the needs of Sandy survivors."

Almost $92 million in Red Cross grants have aided organizations providing home repairs and rebuilding, mold remediation, financial assistance, food, and mental health counseling, and ARC also has made a multi-year commitment to support community roundtables that will help to ensure that the needs of survivors are met in the future. The Red Cross Move-In Assistance Program has provided more than $32.2 million to more than 5,100 households by late September 2014, mostly in New York and New Jersey, giving financial assistance to the hardest-hit people whose primary homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable and who needed help relocating or rebuilding."

 

For more details, click here!

 
IAFC's Near Miss Reporting System Begins a New Chapter
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 14:55

"The International Association of Fire Chiefs' Near Miss Reporting System (www.nationalnearmiss.org/) has begun an exciting new chapter that makes its content much more useful as training tools, something that was part of the mission for Laura W. Bell, the system's program manager, when she joined IAFC in June 2013. "It will add another dimension to what we offer in terms of training—actual immersive training," Bell said.

The system launched in 1995. Some 5,000 reports have been entered to date that describe how near misses occurred when departments responded to fires, hazmat incidents, auto extrications, medical calls, technical rescues, and more. The system's recent relaunch is taking submissions to another level, with the reports being turned into realistic scenarios. Jonathan Mackintosh of Westminster, Colo.-based AlphaTRAC gave me a demonstration of the technology that takes a trainee through six steps in decision-making when evaluating a sample incident (the steps are characterize, recognize, analyze, customize, dramatize, and utilize). "We're actually along the way teaching a decision-making process," he explained. Often there are several good options available to a trainee, but one usually rises above the rest, and top-notch decision makers will find it, he said.

Bell described the scenarios as "bite-sized training" tailored for what chiefs say they need now: Something their personnel "can do on their phone, almost," she said. Fire chiefs were telling IAFC that they valued the system's weekly emailed near miss reports but also said they and their personnel didn't want more emails; they wanted an engaging way to utilize the material in their training."

 

Click here for more details about this new system!

 
BSEE Test Simulates Major Underwater Blowout
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 18:24

"The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced that its Oil Spill Response Division sponsored large-scale testing by the National Energy Technology Laboratory late last month to calculate flow rates from a subsea blowout. The tests took place Oct. 27-29 at Ohmsett, BSEE's National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility in Leonardo, N.J., which was able to produce a subsurface flow of 30,000 barrels a day, the largest flow rate ever produced during an intentional hydrocarbon release.

The research is scheduled to be completed by June 2015 and aims to develop a remotely operated vehicle-mounted camera and software package that can calculate the flow rate of a blowout by tracking the physical features of the plume. BSEE's release said faculty and students from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans installed instrumentation to capture droplet size distributions, oil density throughout the plume, droplet velocities, and water samples, all of which NJIT will use to refine its VDROP model -- a comprehensive model for droplet formation of oils and gases in liquids.

Ohmsett is the largest outdoor saltwater wave/tow tank facility in North America and is the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research, and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions, according to the agency."

Click here for more details!

 
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