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Safe Use of Equipment

by Jessica Reuter
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    00:02 Hi! This is Jessica Spellman. We’re going to be reviewing the safe use of medical equipment.

    00:08 After taking this course, you will be able to define medical equipment and be able to give examples. Understand what constitutes a medical device and adverse reaction event.

    00:21 Explain barriers nurses encounter when it comes to using medical devices correctly.

    00:27 And review several professional nursing organization statements regarding the use of medical equipment.

    00:33 You’ll also be able to incorporate suggestions in the clinical practice for their prevention of adverse events related to medical device adverse events. Medical equipment is defined as a piece of equipment used to prevent, diagnose, or treat a medical condition, disease, or injury.

    00:53 It cannot contain a medication, a biologic agent or food. And in the U.S., medical equipment must meet the regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration.

    01:04 Let’s go over a few examples. We have some simple medical devices; tongue depressors, gloves, thermometers, syringes, gauze, bandaids, and durable medical equipment such as walkers, hearing aids, diabetic blood glucose monitoring supplies. We also have very complex medical devices, such as life supporting devices, ventilators, heart and lung and dialysis machines.

    01:32 Monitoring equipment such as ECGs, EEGs, and pulse oximetry. And diagnostic equipment such as X-rays, CT scans and MRI machines, as well as infusion pumps to administer medications.

    01:48 So I mentioned the FDA is responsible for maintaining the safety of devices. So, let’s review how they do that. They require that medical equipment be safe, effective, and follow the guidelines set forth by the FDA. They also register manufacturer devices and assure that the equipment is labelled according to regulations before being available for purchase. They also perform surveillance on equipment on the market to ensure the product functions as expected. And when it doesn’t, they review reports of problems or poor patient outcomes that result from using medical equipment. So the FDA is really taking a responsible role in trying to maintain the safety of medical devices. But when the device is not safe or something happens, it’s called a medical device adverse event. And that’s when the device is or is suspected of causing or contributing to the death or serious injury of a patient.

    02:51 The incidents of medical device adverse events had risen significantly from 2000 to 2009.

    03:01 The causes of those adverse events can be things like device factors such as there’s incorrect device in the package, inadequate labeling or instructions, or inaccurate interactions between the device and health information technology systems. There's human factors that could be the cause of the adverse events, such as inadequate education on the device, failure of alarm or failure of staff to respond to a critical alarm or the device design is not intuitive or easy to use and it was used inappropriately. Specifically, nurses worry most about ventilators not functioning properly. That’s one of the items or pieces of equipment that they worry about the most. Nurses report the most frequent means of learning for them is trial and error and not formal education. Nurses hear alarms but they have many devices with many alarms and they do not always respond. Some perceive alarms as falls or non-urgent or they’re just overwhelmed with the amount of alarms. Users are not always familiar with equipment and have not checked the alarm status. So it’s another way that the equipment can fail. Most professional nursing organizations are listening to nurses’ concerns and developing position statements related to the safe use of medical equipment. A position statement identifies the policies, issues, and standards important for the nursing profession. Position statements are important to enhance the entire nursing profession and enhance outcomes for patients. A few examples of these organizational statements, position statements. The Association of Women’s Health Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses discussed with the FDA the increase in fetal deaths associated with electronic fetal heart monitoring in order to improve outcomes for neonates that are hooked up to fetal heart monitors. Another example is the Association of Operating Room Nurses who developed a statement on caring for patients in the OR and trying to prevent fires in the OR, which is a significant problem in the operating room. Education is key to preventing medical device adverse events. Education for nurses needs to focus on the following things. Know the intended use of the device and the desired outcome. Understand the instructions for use and contraindications for the device.

    05:49 Nurses need to be able to recognize the importance of complying with manufacturer expiration dates. Device sterility may be guaranteed only until the expiration date. And insight into the differences in devices that appear similar so that you’re using the correct device. In summary, nurses are the point of care users for most medical equipment.

    06:13 Examples of medical devices range from a simple band-aid to a complex ventilator. And if nurses are not aware of the safe use of medical equipment, patient safety is at risk. The FDA is the agency that compiles most of the reports of medical device adverse events. And the proper education of nurses in using medical devices is the best way to prevent errors and promote patient safety. This has been safe use of medical equipment, and I’m Jessica Spellman.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Safe Use of Equipment by Jessica Reuter is from the course Safe and Effective Care Environment. It contains the following chapters:

    • Safe Use of Medical Equipment
    • Medical device adverse event
    • Summary of the literature

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Fentanyl patch
    2. IV pump
    3. Latex gloves
    4. Blood pressure cuff
    1. Food and Drug Administration
    2. Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPPA)
    3. Department of Health and Human Services
    4. Medicare and Medicaid
    1. Human error
    2. Magnetic interference
    3. Idiopathic
    4. Static

    Author of lecture Safe Use of Equipment

     Jessica Reuter

    Jessica Reuter


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