Wow! Friday's post went off the charts. In retrospect, our readers quickly went off topic regarding SpineArt's product portfolio and decided to battle over sterile versus unsterile implants. With the addition of Fat Bastard, El, and their followers, there were some inane and unrealistic comments made about potential infections arising from using implants that do not come pre-packaged sterile. Eventually, implants such as pedicle screws, end caps, rods, cross-connectors, offsets, cervical plates, and cervical screws will came in sterile packaging. This will definitely provide companies with the rationale to increase the cost of delivering their products to the hospitals, while providing an impetus to further lower your commissions. Whether this makes one bit of difference in a customer or hospital opting to use your product will be irrelevant. Until state laws are passed similar to the old spore testing laws, it will be business as usual. Who has the best implant complimented by the sexiest instruments in an organized and efficiently laid out tray will always be the winner.
So let's clarify some things for the general public. First off, contrary to many of the comments posted on Friday and Saturday, no one is dying from spine surgery because implants do not come pre- packaged sterile. It is ridiculous to argue that point. The standard protocol at nearly every hospital in the country is that instruments and implants must arrive no later than 48 hours prior to any surgery. If you can't deliver them within 48 hours, you're not getting the business. Are there occasional exceptions? Yes. But rarely does this get by the OR Gestapo. Not only are implants washed thoroughly upon arrival in Central Services, they are sterilized by a highly trained staff at extremely high temperatures. If Fat Bastard went into a Sauna at 270 degrees he probably would have to change his moniker to Fried Bastard. Nosocomial infections which are fungal or bacteria related rarely have occurred because of spinal fusion. Can anyone cite an actual case that was a by product of pedicle screws? These types of infections usually occur when the staff does not take precautionary measures such as washing their hand to minimize passing bacteria from one patient to another. The patient is usually at risk because of a low immune system.
But as one of our contributors cited, if hospitals mandate that spinal implants come pre-packaged sterile, should we then mandate that instruments come pre-packaged sterile? Where does it stop? Could that be another money maker? C'mon people, get serious. How many more hoops do you want the industry and its reps to jump through? Now you have to have an annual TB test, most people have been inoculated for Hep B, everyone has to take that ridiculous OR protocol screening on RapeTrax, you have to have knowledge on what to do if there is an electrical fire, and there is a minimum as to how many people can actually be in the OR at most hospitals. So before we get off on a tangent TSB needs to keep things in perspective. If our readers wanted a new version of Beavis and Butthead, well, we got a taste of it the last few days.
Fat Bastard: "Hey El, you know I'd like to kiss my derriere"
El: "FatBastard why would you want to kiss your derriere?"
Fat Bastard: "Cause I wanna see what my bunghole looks like."
El: "Be careful Fat Bastard because you might get polio in your holio"
And then we wonder why people make fun of our industry?