Excellentia Advisory Group
ImPaCTInfection Prevention and Control Trends for ASC's 
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About the Author
This Month's Training Opportunities
Hot Topics
Employee Health
Critter Craze
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Robin Novak, RN, CIC
Director of Infection Prevention

636.875.5088 ext. 101
This Month's Training Opportunities

AAAHC 2017 Survey Solutions
Series is completed for April but watch for future dates.

AAAHC 2017
Now available on View Upon Demand though.

Employee Health webinar coming in May.

Over 70 Infection Prevention
 topics/presentations available in our library.
Hot Topics
CDC Investigation Reveals: Hepatitis C Transmission from Inappropriate Reuse of Saline Flush Syringes for Multiple Patients

FDA issues alert over fluid-filled gastric balloons.

Increased risk of post-op infection when surgery closely follows epidural steroid injection.

New Jersey Pain Clinic closes after 30 patients infected.

FDA: Breast implant associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Volume 1, Number 6
April 2017

This month I am highlighting Aspergillus and have a fun WORD FIND puzzle for you at the bottom of this newsletter relating to Aspergillus.
I have been given much encouragement about my word puzzles and how some have been using these during their monthly in-service training programs.  Try your hand at this one and as always, if you need the answers, just EMAIL me.                              

Registered Nurse, Certified Infection Preventionist dedicated to disease prevention and high quality healthcare.  Strong decision maker who understands the importance of patient, visitor and staff safety following evidence based best practices.
Driven and compassionate healthcare professional with 30 years hands-on experience in fast-paced ambulatory surgery center and hospital environments.  Accountable and responsible with an additional focus on Quality Assurance Process Improvement .
In the past, Robin has served as the SGNA Carolina Chapter President, involved in SGNA Practice Committee as well as a Regional Committee member.  Robin has been active with APIC and is a current member of APIC PALMETTO. Robin was prior employed at the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Spartanburg since 2004 and held roles of Endoscopy Nurse, Endoscopy Charge Nurse and most recently the Quality Assurance Process Improvement Coordinator.  Robin has worked on several infection prevention projects for Excellentia Advisory Group including a key role as a faculty speaker at our annual Infection Prevention Strategies for ASC's conference in Las Vegas.  Robin is now Excellentia's Director of Infection Prevention & Endoscopy.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH: Required Vaccinations
...More than just OSHA and TB skin testing!

With all the different regulations, guidelines, and recommendations it can be a challenge to keep up with the required and recommended healthcare employee vaccinations.  Luckily, the CDC has developed a document which thoroughly outlines the recommendations.

It will fall on your facility governing body, infection preventionist and administrator to implement the recommendations.  The question then is how will this information be used in our facility?  What is the best method to track each employee?  Do medical staff and contracted services fall under these recommendations?  What do I do if I have a vaccine preventable exposure?

Be sure to check out my webinar on Employee Health:  Recommended Vaccinations coming up in May.

Critter Craze
By Robin O. Novak, RN, CIC


Aspergillosis is an opportunistic fungal infection caused by Aspergillus.  It usually affects the lungs and causes 4 main syndromes:  allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), chronic necrotizing Aspergillus pneumonia, aspergilloma, and invasive aspergillosis.
ABPA is a hypersensitivity reaction to Aspergillus sp. colonization in the tracheobronchial tree.  It usually occurs in conjunction with asthma or cystic fibrosis.  Up to 5% of adults with asthma may develop ABPA.  There is evidence that fungal allergy is associated with increased asthma severity.  If left untreated, aspergillosis can cause permanent lung damage known as fibrosis.

 Aspergillus is found in nature.  Since it is a fungus, it can be found in decaying leaves, vegetation, and compost piles.  While you are out exploring the forests, remember, kicking those leaves around will disperse the fungus into the air.  Dispersal of the fungus in this manner will contaminate not only the air, but water sources and food too.

As you can surmise, this fungus is acquired through inhalation.  There has been documented cases of transmission through water, spray and aerosols.  However, it cannot be passed person to person.

 Although the disease is rare, it is not uncommon.  Those at greatest risk are the immunocompromised patients.  The incubation period is 2 days to 3 months.

What should be done if a patient culture comes back with aspergillus?  The good news there is no special terminal cleaning that needs to be done.  We should always practice proactive environmental cleaning by using our chemistries following the manufacturer instructions for use.  I encourage you to read your product labels and become familiar with the contact time.
Have you ever had a question about bacteriology?  I have a great online resource.  It is Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology.  It can be found here: http://textbookofbacteriology.net/index.html .  Another great resource that has been invaluable to me is a book called Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 20th Edition.

If you are in need of assistance with your infection prevention program, Robin will be able to assist with everything from setting up your program, training your Infection Preventionist, writing or editing Policies & Procedures or just simple telephonic consultation.  Robin is taking on-site requests for 2017 at this time.  Secure a date on her calendar now.

Please let us know how we can help.

Cathy Montgomery, RN, CASC                Robin Novak, RN, CIC
636-875-5088 extension 102                    636-875-5088 ext. 101

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