The Decontamination Manual is here!!!

What were some of the memorable events at the 6th ICAN conference, in Joburg 2016? One was most certainly the launch of the Decontamination manual – Decontamination and Reprocessing Medical Devices for Healthcare Facilities, WHO 2016 is now available on the following link from the WHO website here.

Prof Benedetta Allegranzi from the Global IPC Unit WHO, Geneva launched this manual at the closing ceremony! Very exciting indeed!

This manual has been long awaited especially by low to middle income countries and has been simply written with these countries in mind. The global experts who put their time and effort into this have ensured that all the most significant and important information is included in a simplified manner.  The manual takes the reader from some basic to advanced systems of ensuring safe reprocessing of medical devices. If you want to start from scratch setting up a sterilization department, it tells you how you can work your way through some of the challenges including training for the sterile services operators, supervisors and managers. If you do not have a modern State –of-the-Art sterile services department and only work in a small decontamination area, do not despair, you can still do a good job safely and avoid some major mishaps while cleaning, inspection, assembly and packaging.  Cleaning is key! As someone once said “ You can clean without sterilizing but you cannot sterilize without cleaning”.

The manual will advise you on how to do a procedure, what packaging material to use, and where. If the packaging is wrong, sterilization certainly cannot be relied upon. It has some basic guidance on validation of the various processes and these are reasonably easy to follow. Disinfection, sterilization and reprocessing of delicate and expensive equipment such as endoscopes are well presented and should be relatively easy to follow. Finally, there is a simplified section on validation of reprocessing equipment- worth considering in your next budget.

It has some handy tips on what to do and what NOT to do, such as soaking of instruments before cleaning is a complete waste of money and time. It also destroys the instruments. Therefore in low resource settings the few instruments that are around are badly damaged. Think before you decontaminate!
To help the individual working in this environment, their managers and users to have a quick reference guide on their smart phone, a decontamination app has been developed by ICAN!

Download the app using the links below:

Get it on Google Play