Largest hospital in Wales uses ProReveal in-situ protein testing

Synoptics Health, a manufacturer of digital imaging systems for healthcare applications has announced that ProReveal, its sensitive test to detect proteins on surgical instruments is now in use at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW).

ProReveal is being used at UHW for routine monitoring and process improvement of surgical instrument decontamination protocols to help prevent inadvertent exposure to prion infections associated with conditions such as vCJD (Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease).

The HSDU Department at UHW is using ProReveal in-situ fluorescence detection daily to precisely quantify how much protein remains on reprocessed surgical instruments and is the first in Wales to adopt the technology. Additionally, ProReveal is being used as part of continuous process improvement research where staff are assessing a range of decontamination parameters such as manual pre-washing and ultrasonic cleaning, as well as different types of washer/disinfectors and detergents to develop the optimum process for removing residual protein on neurosurgical instruments.

Mark Campbell, decontamination service manager at UHW said: “The HTM 01-01 is quite clear that instruments used in neurosurgery should be tested for proteins using in-situ methods rather than swabs because potentially they aren’t sensitive enough to detect low levels of proteins or indeed prion proteins. We have been trialling ProReveal since 2016 and decided that as this is currently the only in-situ test, we purchased a system in 2017 to ensure compliance to the updated WHTM and bring further safety factors for managing high risk sets.”

Mark added: “We now use ProReveal for routine testing and as a research improvement tool to help us reduce the amount of residual protein on neuro-surgical instruments. By reviewing and making changes to our decontamination process, in just six months, we have been able to reduce our residual proteins from 3µg to 400ng and have set our ProReveal to detect nanogram rather than microgram levels as we were getting results of 0µg. The ProReveal is now key to assuring us that we have done everything practically possible to reduce patients’ risk of exposure to prion related diseases.”

Guy Fiddian, of Synoptics Health, commented: “We’re pleased that the largest hospital in Wales is also the first to be routinely using ProReveal for in-situ detection of proteins on reprocessed surgical instruments. Their rigorous approach to continuous quality improvement has shown some very impressive results in reducing residual proteins on neurosurgical instruments and emonstrates that minimising patients’ exposure to prions  is viewed very seriously by this hospital.”


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