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Gas plasma impresses at Brighton - Success for low temperature sterilization in clinical trials

Describing how Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is working closely with industry, Bob Jobbins, the trust’s AE(D), told Inside Hospitals: “When someone has a new machine or new concept we will test and trial it in a clinical setting. As part of this arrangement we’re working closely with 20/30 Labs.

“One technology we’re looking at is the new gas plasma system from CISA - available in the UK through BES Decon. Typical applications for this new technology are the low temperature sterilization of defibrillator paddles for cardiology. Indeed, that’s why we initially bought the system in the first place, as if you steam sterilize defibrillator paddles you shorten their life. They’re rated for 35 times in steam sterilization, while it’s around 100 times with gas plasma. So while they have limited usability, by using the gas plasma we extend their life dramatically.

Bob added: “BES Decon’s CISA gas plasma system has now been in service with us here for a year. It’s still being developed but there is certainly a role for gas plasma within sterile services.

 “The machine has around twice the capacity of its nearest competitor. Using the CISA gas plasma we can now sterilize lumens 1.5m long and 2mm internal diameter.

 “The unit we have is the only one of its type in the UK. And as there’s currently no international standard for gas plasma, I’m working with both BES Decon and CISA to develop a testing regime for gas plasma and we are hoping that this will be internationally accepted.”

The CISA plasma sterilizer range is the only one that is able to show the potential to sterilise the full length of longer flexible endoscope channels.

Independent testing by 20/30 Labs has shown that the CISA SPS6464 plasma sterilizer at Brighton provides a Sterilisation Assurance Level of 6 on surrogates contaminated with Geobacillus stearothermophilus or Bacillus pumilis spore suspensions through the length of a 1,500mm long 2mm diameter lumen.

 Additional benefits of the equipment and process include removal of the need for time-consuming pre-processing and drying after the disinfection phase of the items to be sterilized. There’s also less risk of cycle failure arising from residual moisture. Chamber options add to the functionality and usability of the CISA range. At the end of the cycle the process provides for full removal of residual hydrogen peroxide and any condensates.

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