Air samplers selected for microbiological monitoring

Cherwell Laboratories has announced that the Hull University Teaching NHS Trust has purchased three of its SAS Super 180 air samplers. This is for the environmental monitoring of the Trust’s operating theatres in Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary to ensure surgical site cleanliness for infection control purposes.
Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust had two ageing pieces of air sampling equipment for microbiological monitoring for surgical site infection prevention. When one broke beyond repair, the remaining large, cumbersome instrument - which was trolley-based and required an external electricity supply - proved very inefficient at covering multiple theatres across the NHS Trust’s sites. Therefore, a business case was put forward by Greta Johnson (Lead Nurse, Department of Infection) reviewing whether air sampling should continue, as there is in fact no regulatory requirement for plenum ventilated theatres; if they did continue, then new equipment was required. It was concluded that air sampling was important and funds for new air samplers were made available.
The infection control team investigated a number of different companies and air samplers, finding the SAS Super 180 air sampler from Cherwell to be the best option. “We chose this sampler as it is compact, easy-to-use, simple to maintain and fit for purpose in sampling theatre environments,” said Greta Johnson. “Cherwell was also able to provide training and comprehensive servicing. Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust now has three SAS air samplers, one for Castle Hill Hospital, one for Hull Royal Infirmary and a backup sampler.”
The small size and simplicity of the SAS samplers have resulted in improvements in the sampling processes and enhanced environmental monitoring practices at the NHS Trust. 
Cleaning of the SAS Super 180 is extremely simple; alcohol spray or impregnated wipes can be used to disinfect the surface. The drilled sampling head can be readily checked, wiped clean or autoclaved. With the media plate placement area underneath the head, the instrument can be turned on to simply draw a mist of disinfecting alcohol spray through the device. Furthermore, as the sampler is designed for cleanroom purposes, it can also be sterilised using vaporised hydrogen peroxide.
The sampling directions for volume size and delayed sampling on the SAS Super 180, are also intuitive. The infection control team found the SAS Super very easy-to-use due to its visual and audible cues which help to inform the user about its status. In addition, the Trust’s old system required prior testing to be performed to ensure the accuracy of the plate height; the SAS Super 180 needs no such adjustments. The device’s portability and speed of use also contribute to making it ideal for the environmental monitoring of theatre environments.

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