Innovation In Decontamination
HUMIPAK is paving the way to ensure that CSSD’s comply with HTM01-01 and HTM01-06. Developed by Westfield Medical, HUMIPAK is a moisture retention pouch for post-operative instrument handling.
HUMIPAK is designed to inhibit proteins adhering to surgical instruments by creating a moist environment facilitating easier, faster and more effective decontamination processes.
HTM01-01 and HTM01-06 are clear that maintaining a moist environment for used surgical instruments will reduce prion transmission risk, even after a considerable waiting time between stages of the decontamination cycle. Typically, even in the most efficient CSSDs, the journey from theatre post-surgical use to items beginning the decontamination process is in excess of two hours. Current, and standard, decontamination practices involve leaving stainless steel surfaced instruments to dry by default, due to the impracticalities of immediate washing in the hospital environment. In addition to maintaining a moist environment, Humipak also provides containment of soiled instruments and potential biohazardous materials, facilitating safe transportation from theatre to CSSD, thereby reducing infection risk.
A study, funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme, tested the effect of three scenarios of surgical instruments prior to cleaning procedures; air, standard polythene bags, and the HUMIPAK sealed bag. HUMIPAK was found to maintain high humidity, of 90%, compared to the air and polythene bag, which were found to range in their humidity, from 55% to the highest humidity of 70% in the air and to 80% in the polythene bags. Other key factors that affect the protein adsorption onto surfaces of surgical instruments are time and temperature. Protein adsorption with HUMIPAK, after 24 hours, was equivalent to just 15 minutes in air. In conclusion, the study states: “The results obtained with the humidity retention pouches (HUMIPAK), compared with the current practice of leaving instruments to dry, indicate that maintaining the surgical surfaces in a controlled, stable, moist environment may limit the negative impact of any delay before cleaning, and warrants the use of such technologies. At a time of increasing centralisation of instrument reprocessing, such technologies could contribute to limiting the risk of hospital infections and the potential risk of iCJD. The study concluded that HUMIPAK offered a “cost-effective way” of significantly reducing drying and thus protein adsorption to stainless steel surgical instruments.
HUMIPAK has been shown to give the best possible results in maintaining a moist and humid environment which meets the guidance detailed in the HTM’s to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and attain the level of patient safety required. Humipak is easy to use in theatres, requiring only a small amount of water and pouch sealing. There is no question that this approach has universal compatibility with all devices that require decontamination via a washer-disinfector. There are no possible adverse consequences to the washer-disinfector cycle.
HUMIPAK aims to reduce Health Care-Associated Infections (HCAI’s) by keeping instruments in moist conditions that will keep soil and dirt in a soft state, facilitating much easier, faster cleaning and decontamination processes without the use of pre-treatment chemicals. HUMIPAK is a cost-effective and easy way to achieve effective decontamination.. To learn more contact Westfield Medical Limited.
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