Prions are the protein-based, transmissible causative agents of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (or prion diseases). Prion diseases present a unique risk because although they are not considered contagious they can be transmitted between patients via tissues and reusable medical device surfaces because prions are highly resistant to decontamination. Understanding these diseases is important in the development of facility policies to reduce patient and staff risks. Therefore, it is imperative the Sterile Processing Department (SPD), Operating Room and other department’s supporting clinical and surgical interventions understand these diseases when developing policy and procedures for the use and reprocessing of medical devices.
This interactive e-learning course provides an introduction to prions, the diseases caused by them, and the risk to patients and healthcare workers that are associated with reprocessed medical devices.
In this course, the instructor will cover the following:
- Introduction to the prions and prion diseases
- Explain the risks associated with prion decontamination
- Review what steps a facility should take to review the risk of prion transmission on reusable devices