PACKS OF DENTAL INSTRUMENTS NOT STERILISED COMPLETELY USED ON PATIENTS

Dear A.S.S. Editor

In an unprecedented failure by the authorities, it seems that 72 packs of dental instruments not completely sterilised were used in patient treatment last week at the National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS). The packs were used on patients on 5 and 6 June.

All the packs were used for dental treatment before they could be retrieved, although the risk of infection to patients has been assessed to be “extremely low”. NDCS clarified that it was because the earlier steps in the sterilisation process would have removed close to 100 per cent of organisms of concern. However, the lapse was still a notable concern, and NCDS explained that he instruments had undergone thermal washer disinfection but had not completed the final step of steam sterilisation before being used at its specialist outpatient clinics on levels 2, 4 and 6 of the NDCS building.

NCDS has also started steps to inform 714 patients that passed through its clinics over the two days. There is a possibility that 72 of them had used the instruments in question. This is a very worrying lapse. Would there be a complete investigations done on why this occurred in the first place, and would the process then be improved?

Diana Lee

A.S.S. Contributor

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