As the World Health Organization warns that the US could become the next epicenter of Covid-19, with more than 46,000 [update numbers] confirmed cases of the virus, it’s more important than ever to ensure the tools anesthesiologists use in the OR are properly disinfected, preventing further infection. The challenge is that the virus that causes Covid-19 lives on surfaces for a lengthy amount of time. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, the virus lived on surfaces of a vacated cruise ship for up to 17 days.

A letter from physicians published on March 17, 2020, in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that the virus could remain viable in aerosols for up to three hours, and up to two to three days on stainless steel and plastic. Regardless, one thing is certain: We are learning more about the virus every day, and there is a lot we don’t know about it.

This is all the more reason to ensure the items anesthesiologists use when treating patients are not inadvertently spreading the highly infectious virus. It is possible for the virus to live in the OR on the surface of the anesthesia cart including the drug syringe labels, if not properly disinfected.

A March 2020 issue of Anesthesiology included recommendations for disinfection from the Joint Task Force of the Chinese Society of Anesthesiology and the Chinese Association of Anesthesiologists. Here are recommendations: The OR used for patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 should be fully disinfected with 2% to 3% hydrogen peroxide spays, and then wiped with 2% to 3% hydrogen peroxide, 2 to 5g/l chlorine disinfectant, or 75% alcohol. The anesthesia cart should be cleaned following the same procedure, according to the report.


A standard anesthesia procedure is to utilize preprinted drug labels that reside on the anesthesia cart to place on syringes to identify a patient’s drugs. The problem is, the Covid-19 virus could live on the surface of the to-be-used labels for some time. And, how do you disinfect the labels and the dispenser they are in, especially when that dispenser is more akin to thick, coated paper that would eventually deteriorate when repeatedly coming into contact with these cleaning agents?


Vigilant Software developed a solution to help anesthesiologists increase patient safety, maximize hospital revenues and resolve the aforementioned disinfectant issue. Vigilant’s solution encapsulates the labels inside a printer which can be easily sterilized. The printer is made of UV-resistant plastics and has a sealed button interface that makes it easy to disinfect. It comes with a health care-compliant power supply. The Vigilant Label system closes the hole in the defense against Covid-19. It becomes a tool in your hospital’s fight to prevent the spread of the virus.

Vigilant’s software coordinates with EMR solutions to print all the appropriate information on the drug labels. That printer is part of the Vigilant Label solution, created by anesthesiologist Peter Baek. Not only does Vigilant ensure proper medication labeling by connecting a patient’s dosage information into a bar code on the anesthesiologist’s badge, which is then scanned once he or she enters the OR to create the labels, but the labels are housed in the easy-to-clean and disinfect printer.

The Vigilant system is used in X health care systems, including USMD Health System, Saint Joseph Health Systems, Texoma Medical Center, and Roper St. Francis.

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