Decontamination Service Manager, Mark Campbell provides an insight into the latest protein residue removal research at the University Hospital of Wales HSDU. The findings could offer valuable insights into best practice.
The Department of Health (DH) has led investigations for several years, building from initial research projects from the original ESAC (Engineering research advisory committee) around 20 years ago. This quickly developed and expanded due the results and findings by the various groups, universities, scientists and people involved.
The research looked at proteins, adhesion, surgical instrument materials, types of surfaces, detergents, washer disinfectors and cycles, optimum cycle parameters, flexible endoscopes, gas plasmas processes, new surgical instrument coatings, known protein detection methods, patient safety, operating theatre techniques and policies, Sterile Service Departments etc. The work looked in all directions of decontamination and new materials that could be used.
The group developed with advice and consultation was widened to include observers from NHS of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The results were highlighting a real problem for patient safety, and the conclusion of the group was to hand the results and comments over to the Advisory Committee Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP).
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