“Products like STERRAD have changed the face of sterilization practices in hospitals. On the one hand, there is a need to have an assurance of sterility, on the other it is needed to have a method that can protect delicate instrumentation that is invariably part of advanced medical care. STERRAD scores on both counts,” says
Dr Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Chairman and Chief Urologist, NU Hospitals, Bangalore
Medical institutions, while striving to save lives, risk passing infections to patients themselves. In spite of efforts to keep hospitals sterile, Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) or Nosocomial infections do happen. The risk of HAIs for urologists is even more, as they do invasive procedures involving delicate instrumentation. A study of hospitals in Goa revealed that one-third of the patients contracted HAI during their stays, with urinary tract infections being the most common. But Dr Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Chairman and Chief Urologist, NU Hospitals, a leading specialty Nephro Urology hospital in Bangalore remains upbeat about combating HAIs even in the face of such dismal statistics.
Dr Venkatesh feels urology has been in the forefront of technological advances in medicine, and urologists have adapted to newer instrumentations quickly. He conceded that the practice of urology has changed from when he was a post-graduate about 20 years ago, adding that research into understanding how the urinary tract works has changed the treatment of many diseases. Not only is the pace of change rapid, he says, but new fields like stem cell research and its applications in urology are promising and exciting.
Dr Venkatesh feels hospitals have realized that their reputation hinges on how successfully they prevent HAI, and they boast of technological advances to that extent, since there can be no greater embarrassment to professionals than to face the consequences of HAI. He says HAIs complicate a patient’s recovery, at the same time increasing recovery costs for the family manifold.
Speaking of HAIs at NU Hospitals, Dr Venkatesh said they have has focused on its prevention for nearly two decades. He points out that NU Hospitals was the first to introduce hand hygiene at all points of patient care. Not only did they implement it, but they also ensured its compliance by nearly 95 percent.
STERRAD, helping patients
Urology involves the use of sensitive and delicate instruments. Dr Krishnamoorthy says STERRAD has helped NU Hospitals’ sterilization practices with its rapid turnaround time and unprecedented in efficacy. NU Hospitals was among the first in Karnataka to use the plasma sterilization method. He says the reliability of the equipment and the fact that STERRAD immediately points out an incomplete cycle in the sterilization process provides a sense of security. He further says that STERRAD protects the delicate instruments that are a part of advanced medical care, at the same time providing an assurance of sterility. Also, STERRAD helps reduce the use of antibiotics in treatments.
Changing face of HAI
Dr Venkatesh feels the benefits of preventing HAIs far outweigh STERRAD’s initial or operational costs, if the instrument is used optimally and judicially. He says that as urology as a discipline inducts more delicate instrumentation, the use of plasma sterilization must go parallel with these acquisitions. STERRAD is an indisputable accompaniment to advances in instrumentation, he says.