Advanced Sterilization Products on preventing the spread of coronavirus from contaminated medical devices

Published: 7-Feb-2020

ASP experts Ryan Lewis, Medical Affairs and Medical Safety, and Jeremy Yarwood, VP Research and Development, share their views

Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) has released an interview with company experts who discuss best practice to prevent the spread of coronavirus from contaminated medical devices.

Ryan Lewis, Senior Director of Medical Affairs and Medical Safety, and Jeremy Yarwood, Vice President of Research and Development, have shared their views on the risk of coronavirus contamination through contact with medical devices and how to prevent the spread of this disease to patients and healthcare staff.

Lewis recognised that healthcare workers are taking precautions to prevent the inadvertent spread of coronavirus in the healthcare setting and that early in the outbreak multiple healthcare workers were infected with coronavirus before the mechanism of spreading was well understood.

"Now Chinese healthcare workers are urged to follow infection prevention precautions such as the use of gloves, gowns, respiratory protection and eye protection," he said, adding that to prevent the patient-to-patient transfer of the coronavirus, reusable medical devices must be sterilised or thoroughly disinfected between uses.

These devices are reusable and must be disinfected or sterilised between uses

Devices such as bronchoscopes, ENT flexible endoscopes and laryngoscopes are used for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with advanced coronavirus infections are the most at risk to coronavirus contamination as these are used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with advanced infections.

"These devices are reusable and must be disinfected or sterilised between uses. A high number of patients needing advanced care for coronavirus could result in a single device being used multiple times a day," Lewis said. "Medical devices used at the bedside such as blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, monitoring equipment and ventilators will also need to be disinfected or sterilised according to the manufacturers' recommendations."

Yarwood pointed out that, generally speaking, anyone coming into contact with these devices should be wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including gloves, gowns, masks and face shields.

"All sterilisation systems and disinfectant solutions that ASP provides have been tested against enveloped viruses, the family of viruses that includes coronavirus," Yarwood explained. "Furthermore, some of our products, including CIDEX OPA, have been directly tested against coronavirus, and have been demonstrated to be efficacious," he said.

Commenting on how medical equipment is processed in ASP systems, Yarwood pointed out to the company's terminal sterilisation system STERRAD, EVOTECH ECR and ASP AEROFLEXTM AER.

He said devices are generally cleaned and decontaminated with appropriate detergents, either manually or in automated washer/disinfector systems, prior to being placed into the STERRAD System for sterilisation. with the other solutions, devices are generally manually cleaned with detergents and then placed into the system for further cleaning and disinfection.

Yarwood also named CIDEX OPA for manual use/soaking, where users would clean the device first with an enzymatic detergent and then fill and soak in a basin with the OPA for the recommended contact times.

The interview follows on the company's recent 510(k) clearance of the new STERRAD VELOCITY, the biological indicator and process challenge device designed to allow users to confirm sterility assurance in just 15 minutes.

The full interview is available on the company website.

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