Thefutureofsterilisation and decontamination

The Central Sterilising Club Annual Scientific Meeting provided an excellent learning opportunity for all those involved in decontamination - from hands-on operatives, decontamination managers and infection prevention practitioners to associated professionals. With a focus on extending knowledge and improving practice, this year’s event was yet another success.

The Central Sterilising Club (CSC) holds two educational events every year, both being accredited for continuing professional development (CPD), which is currently organised through the Royal College and Pathologist’s scheme. The programme is submitted for review and an appropriate number of CPD points allocated to the content. The first of the CSC events is a two-day Annual Scientific Meeting which is held in the Spring and comprises a formal programme of lectures, from invited speakers, and a selected number of corporate presentations, which combine to cover a broad range of hot topics. It also includes The Kelsey Lecture which was established in 1980 through a donation made by Dr Jos Kelsey to enable a guest lecturer of international repute to be invited to speak at the conference. CSC chair, Val O’Brien welcomed delegates to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Manchester and announced that, due to the success of the annual meeting, the 2020 event will take

MAY 2019

place at an even larger venue. Opening proceedings was Dr Robert

Spencer, who recently retired from working full time as a medical microbiologist after 45 years in the discipline. Setting the scene, Dr Spencer looked to the future: “There are many questions that must be asked about the future of the NHS. There are a number of unknowns facing us, such as robotic surgery and the impact of antimicrobial resistance. There will be less operations, as the risk will be too high, and we know that there are still 1.5 million unknown viruses.

“Social media is also having an effect on the public perception of infection prevention, with the influx of ‘fake news’ and the number of parents refusing to have their children immunised. This has resulted in an increase in mumps and measles. A major concern is global warming. With no water, we have no steam, and no sterilisation.” One of the highlights of the Annual Scientific Meeting is the Kelsey Lecture, this year presented by Margreet C. Vos, professor

in medical microbiology, infection prevention, Erasmus MC, in the Netherlands. Margreet’s talk covered the failure of cleaning and disinfection of endoscopes; prevalence, impact and future solutions. “With regard to the impact of infections, we are at the tip of a huge iceberg,” she asserted. “The source of bacteria may be endogenous – inherent to the ERCP procedure, the translocation of a patient’s own flora – or exogenous, contaminated ERCP duodenoscopes with biomaterial from previous patients or contamination by AER, drying or storage. The risks are caused by breaches in reprocessing or the complex design of the equipment. “The impact of contaminated endoscopes is an unresolved issue. Up until now there is no data on the contamination of endoscopes before a procedure and measurement of infection after a procedure. So, is an infection related to a contaminated endoscope, or is it endogenous? The risk on exogenous infection is not known.”


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