July 9, 2019
In January 2018, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released the Infection Prevention and Control Complaint Protocol. Under this protocol, health units are mandated to follow-up on all complaints related to infection prevention and control to assess the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, and to determine the appropriate response.
The re-use of foot care equipment provides a source of infection if infection prevention and control measures are not implemented appropriately. This includes the reprocessing and management of critical foot care equipment and devices with appropriate cleaning, disinfection, sterilization, transportation and storage of this equipment. Single use equipment should never be used at more than one time.
Reprocessing of Foot Care Equipment
Any foot care equipment that is shared between individuals must be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized in accordance with the Manufacturer’s Instructions for use and in accordance with the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee (PIDAC) Best Practice Documents.
All critical foot care equipment must remain sterile to the point of use. Below are some resources to ensure reprocessing and other foot care practices are done according to IPAC Best Practices:
- Best Practices for Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization of Medical Equipment/Devices In All Health Care Settings, Third edition
- Environmental Reprocessing Areas Checklist
- National Competencies for Advanced Nursing Foot Care
- Position Statement on Reprocessing of Critical Foot Care Devices
- IPAC Checklist for Chiropody and Podiatry
Infection Prevention and Control Lapses
If the Health Unit finds that an infection prevention and control lapse has occurred, the setting will be required to stop certain practices until changes are made to meet current IPAC best practices. The Health Unit has the authority to close down the service site until the issue(s) is/are resolved, if needed.
The Health Unit will re-inspect the site to ensure IPAC best practices are being followed before the practices that could result in the spread of infection is allowed to resume.
If the investigation reveals that individuals may have been exposed to a blood borne illness, then the Health Unit will work with the setting to notify people who may have potentially been exposed, and facilitate access to testing and counselling.
The Medical Officer of Health decides if it is in the public interest to inform the public of all Infection Prevention and Control lapses that would result in the risk of infection. Reports are posted on the Health Unit’s website and remain posted on the website for two years.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Health Unit at 613-345-5685, refer to ‘foot care’ and ask for Community Health Protection Department.