PART 2: Using the wrong medical devices.
On our last blog article “ALL THE REASONS WHY YOU OR YOUR PRACTICE ARE IN JEOPARDY – PART 1: Skipping Thorough Testing” we shared how avoiding performing a proper neurological examination could take a high toll on the patient, you, or your practice.
Neurological examination is actually, quite simple, and can be performed in a practical way when following systemically the different stages of examination.
During the sensory examination stage of the neuro exam, the pinprick test or dermatome test takes place. These tests consist of gently rolling a Wartenberg Pinwheel over the patient’s skin and observing their response or sensation to pinpoint the specific area of damage and determine an accurate diagnosis to decide the best treatment and/or procedure. This Diagnosis usually calls for possible nerve or sensory dysfunction. For example, a patient might present a spinal nerve root malfunctioning, and the corresponding area of the body might not be sending pain sensations up the spine as a result. After rolling the Wartenberg Pinwheel, the patient should be able to feel the spokes, confirming they are receiving messages from the spine, and report back on their location. If their sensations are impaired, or lose sensitivity, it could indicate swelling, nerve damage, or other surgical complications that need taking care of. Even after proper care takes place, regular additional pinprick testing may be part of patient care to monitor any complications or improvement.
Choosing the right medical device for neurological testing
Wartenberg Pinwheels usually consist of a small wheel with a series of sharp spokes attached to a handle to control speed and pressure. Even though this is the tool for the pinprick examination and diagnosis of nerve damage or sensory disfunction, concerns about the metal wheel usually arise and surround the fact that they are:
1. Hard to Sterilize.
Physicians using reusable metal Wartenberg Pinwheels to diagnose their patients, roll the very same spiked wheel over dozens of patients’ bare skin every day, thereby potentially increasing the risk of infection. Getting injured by a sharp object like a reusable pinwheel in any type of medical setting can be a lot more concerning than having a simple scratch.
Washing and sterilizing a steel instrument between uses may not be efficient in a busy practice, as it’s a time-consuming task, employees don’t have the adequate training to do so or cleaning thoroughly medical devices with small parts and features can be difficult. All the previous lead to poor – ineffective sterilization and make it impossible to guarantee that the tools and instruments you use are free from dangerous infective diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B or C, or other bloodborne pathogens from a previous patient, thus exposing yourself, your team, and your patients from getting serious infections.
And to think all of this could happen just with a slight pinch of a reusable metal pinwheel…
2. Sharp Objects.
More so, Metal Wartenberg pinwheels due to their weight, material, and highly pinching spokes, are sharp objects that could penetrate the dermis. Even though the spokes are not designed to draw blood, they can certainly pick up infectious organisms (which may become embedded in the wheel mechanism) and cause a sharps injury. All too often punctured wounds may become infected with contaminated blood, diseased, and hazardous substances left in the device.
While the risk of contracting HIV from a sharps injury is relatively low, the risk of infection with HBV and HCV among unimmunized populations is very high. There is no immunization for HIV or HCV, and no recommended post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HCV. The only solution is therefore to prevent infection by preventing exposure.
Sharp objects are the leading cause of serious injuries in medical clinics. According to the LA law firm DTLA Law Group, the top 3 most common causes of sharps injuries are:
· Failure to clean up properly after use
· Negligent or accidental handling of a sharp object during use
· Punctured while attempting to use the sharp object
If any of these circumstances occur in your medical practice and a punctured wound takes place with an infection or bloodborne disease resulting from the sharps injury, the patient may be entitled to compensation for their damages and you or your medical practice could be at fault, with varying amounts depending on the cost of treatment for the injuries or conditions, loss of income and/or future loss or reduction of income among others.
To illustrate the stated above, there’s the case of a New Jersey Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, which went through an inspection report in 2018 where it was discovered there was potential patient exposure to inadequately sterilized medical instruments. The center had to send out around 4,000 letters warning patients who received a procedure between January 2018, and September 2018, that “lapses in infection control in sterilization/cleaning instruments and the injection of medications may have exposed patients to bloodborne pathogens. The Surgery Center is currently defending a class-action lawsuit filed in Bergen County Superior Court. One of the plaintiffs underwent a pain management procedure at the center in April 2018 and is now struggling with hepatitis and suffering from emotional trauma due to the exposure and life-changing condition.
You need safer options for your current Metal Wartenberg Pinwheels.
Healthcare professionals are required to consider and use safer medical devices. If you find, during your annual review of devices, a safer option for a medical device you need, you must adopt it and document this fact in your written Exposure Control Plan.
Wartenberg Pinwheels should be discarded after each use or properly sterilized before you see another patient. So, in examinations where a Wartenberg wheel is specifically needed, the safer option for Neurologists and Chiropractors is to use a disposable plastic version which can conveniently provide the ability to perform the pinprick test with safety for the patient and the healthcare team.
NAD Pinwheel Inc. is your safest option available in the market, because:
· We are disposable: Being made of sustainable and 100% recyclable plastic, makes them easily disposable thus eliminating the risk of poor sterilization and infections.
· We are sustainable: If you, just like us, care about sustainability and prefer eco-friendly products, we’ll leave you this information for you to learn how we accomplish sustainability: Rolling with Sustainability: Are single-use Pinwheels sustainable? NAD Wartenberg Pinwheels: Towards Sustainable Design for Single-use Medical Devices
· We are practical and time-saving: No need to dedicate your valuable time to cleaning the pinwheel each time you use it or having someone else doing it every time and paying them for it. No need to spend on environmentally harmful chemicals to sterilize pinwheels.
· We are Safe and lightweight: The thoughtful design and lightness of NAD pinwheels make them safe to use without causing puncture injuries.
· We are low-cost: 100 pinwheels for $69.99. It kind of makes you think how cheap it actually is to avoid a malpractice lawsuit and protect your practice. Only 0.69 cents at a time.
Take the safest choice for you, your practice, and your patients. Join the new generation of single-use Wartenberg Pinwheels, here.