Unguarded pedicle screws carry high levels of contamination — 5 insights

Written by Eric Oliver | May 21, 2019 | Print  |

Researchers are urging the healthcare industry to stop rewashing, resterilizing and touching pedicle screws after new research showed high levels of contamination remained, both after sterilization and intraoperative handing, Medscape reports.

What you should know:

1. Researchers are urging organizations to use intraoperatively guarded, presterilized, individually packaged implants over reprocessed implants.

2. Preoperatively, researchers found three types of contamination: corrosion, saccharide of unknown origin, and soap residue mixed with fat. Researchers also found salt residue at interfaces.

3. Intraoperatively, the multicenter data from four centers across U.S. showed that all unguarded screws resulted in bacterial contamination inside the "sterile-field" during live surgeries. Whereas, guarded screws had no such contamination.

4. Both preoperative reprocessing and intraoperative handling of the pedicle screws contaminate the implants.

5. These contaminants contribute to inflammatory reactions and surgical site infections. In addition, switching implants would reduce costs associated with surgical site infections.

To read the entire article, click here.

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