Dentist Infection Control

Florida Infection Control Consulting Services Blog

Apr 26, 2017

Infection Control Expert Phenelle Segal to Present at Florida Society of ASCs Annual Meeting

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, founder of Florida-based Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), will present at the 2017 Florida Society of Ambulatory Surgical Centers (FSASC) Annual Conference & Trade Show.

Read the announcement on the ICCS website by clicking here.

Dec 14, 2016

CDC Declares Florida Zika-Free

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared Florida to be free of the Zika virus, but emphasized the need for caution.

The CDC noted, "There have been no new cases of local Zika virus transmission identified in South Miami Beach for more than 45 days, suggesting that the risk of Zika virus infection is no longer greater than in the rest of Miami-Dade County."

Miami-Dade County continues to carry a yellow area designation, meaning it's a cautionary area. Pregnant women in Miami-Dade County remain eligible for Zika virus testing.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden praised Florida's rapid response and comprehensive mosquito control program for interrupting Zika transmission, but noted that "... we must stay vigilant and also take what we have learned and be prepared for next season."

As of December 8, a total of 4,575 cases of Zika had been reported in the continental United States and Hawaii, according to CDC. These cases include 185 locally transmitted mosquito-borne cases in Florida, 38 cases believed to be the result of sexual transmission, and one case that was the result of a laboratory exposure.

While Florida has been declared Zika-free, the same cannot be said for all U.S. states. Texas just confirmed four new local cases.

Nov 17, 2016

CDC Identifies Antimicrobial Stewardship Program for University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospitals as Model

The week of November 14-20, 2016, has been designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week." This annual one-week observance is intended to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

As the CDC reports, at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in hospital clinic, doctor's offices and emergency departments are unnecessary. This equates to 47 million unnecessary prescriptions written in those settings. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of the infections.

Such statistics emphasize the need for organizations to develop and maintain antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs. As of 2015, about 50% of all hospitals had instituted an AMS program. The White House issued a "National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria" in 2015, which included a goal of 100% of hospitals establishing an AMS program by 2020.

CDC provides links to a few websites of hospital AMS programs throughout the country to serve as examples intended to assist organizations with developing their own AMS programs. Included is a link to the AMS program website for the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospitals.

The program is named "GotaBug." The following are steps the program advises hospital staff members to take to help reduce antimicrobial resistance:
  • Take an antibiotic "Time Out" as part of your daily rounds
  • Reassess antimicrobial therapy based on cultures and susceptibilities
  • Pick the correct drug, dose and duration
  • De-escalate broad spectrum antimicrobials whenever possible
  • Stop antimicrobials when no longer needed
  • Get your annual flu shots
  • Wash your hands

Florida-based infection control consultant Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, president and founder of Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), and the ICCS team of consultants assist healthcare organizations with the development of AMS programs as part of their ongoing effort to preventing infections. To learn about how ICCS can help your organization, contact ICCS.

Oct 31, 2016

The Role of Personal Protective Equipment in Infection Prevention History

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, president of Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), has contributed a new column to Infection Control Today on personal protective equipment (PPE).

Topics discussed in the column include:
  • Early uses of PPE
  • Guidelines concerning their use
  • PPE in the 21st century
  • Evolution of PPE across the continuum of care
  • Special circumstances for PPE use, specifically Ebola
  • Recent controversies in the surgery setting concerning proper surgical attire

To access the article, click here.

ICCS is a Florida-based provider of infection control consulting for surgery centers, dental offices and many other types of healthcare organizations. Services provided by the ICCS team, led by Phenelle, including developing, implementing and maintaining evidence-based infection prevention and control programs as well as providing educational programs to meet client needs.

Oct 26, 2016

Zika Virus Detected in Blood Donated in Florida

Blood donated and screened in Florida has tested positive for the Zika virus, according to multiple news reports.

This is the only positive Florida test result for donated blood to date. The donation never entered the blood supply.

OneBlood, a blood center serving most of Florida and parts of other states, has tested a sample of every Florida donor's blood for several months.

The American Red Cross announced earlier in the year that it was also conducting blood donor screening.

In its October 24 Zika update, the Florida Department of Health provided the following breakdown of non-travel and travel-related Zika infections to-date in the state:
  • Travel-related infections of Zika — 752
  • Non-travel-related infections of Zika — 169
  • Infections involving pregnant women — 113
  • Out-of-state cases (not Florida residents) — 19
  • Undetermined — 5
  • Total — 1,058
In August, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommended universal testing of donated whole blood and blood components for Zika virus in the United States and its territories.

Oct 19, 2016

Dental Infection Control Special Report: Pulpotomy, Mycobacteria in Children

Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), a Florida-based provider of expert infection prevention services to dental clinics, surgery centers and other healthcare organizations, has published a new special report concerning dental infection control and prevention practices.

The report examines recent outbreaks of Mycobacterium abscessus odontogenic infections in children following pulpotomy procedures (child root canal).

As the report notes, "... the water that was used during the pulpotomy treatment allowed bacteria growing in the water to be trapped in the tooth when it was capped after the procedure was completed. ... Dental waterlines are a challenge as bacteria grow biofilm which adheres to the plastic tubes and is very difficult to eradicate."

Read the ICCS special report on dental infection prevention.

Aug 22, 2016

Zika Virus Spreads to Miami Beach, Prompting Warnings

As the fear of Zika virus infections continues to plague Florida, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on August 19 that "pregnant women should not travel to an area of Miami Beach where local Zika virus transmission has been confirmed."

This is the second area in Miami that has been identified as being "at risk" for active transmission of the virus. The Florida Department of Health announced that five locally transmitted cases have been confirmed as connected to the Miami Beach area.

The CDC further advised that the sexual partners of pregnant women refrain from visiting the area. Pregnant women are at the highest risk due to identification of birth defects in babies born to mothers who have contracted the illness. As Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, states, "The risk is low, but the outcome is so horrific, you really want to try to avoid it."

Florida Governor Rick Scott noted, "There are 36 locally transmitted cases of the virus and 20.6 million people living in the state," requesting that the public put this issue in perspective. 

The CDC is aiding Florida with test and prevention kits to assist with transmission identification and prevention.