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Development of generic sterilisation and operation cassette for endoscopic instruments.

The aim is to obtain scientific and technological knowledge
to develop a generic sterilisation and operation cassette
for endoscopic instruments. Research targets: materials,
configurations, construction, cleaning tubes, etc.

More and more hospitals are rationalising their indirect processes to work on a more cost-effective basis. One way of doing this is to centralise certain hospital processes. When operations are carried out, all the re-usable materials, such as instruments, need to be cleaned, disinfected and sterilised. More and more hospitals in European countries centralise these activities in a so-called Central Sterilisation Area (CSA). Here, all the different instruments from the various operating theatres are connected (dismantled), washed, disinfected, (assembled), packed, sterilised (stored) and transported back to the operating theatres. This is a very labour- intensive process. Before invasive surgery, instruments were relatively simple (and inexpensive), therefore easy to handle and easy to process (in CSAs). Now, a lot of advanced surgical instruments needs special care and attention. This takes extra time due to dismantling and reassembling. These refined and expensive instruments are also more sensitive (resulting in damage and wastage) so handling after surgery should be kept to a minimum. because every different supplier has his own specifications, a higher level of knowledge for CSA personnel is also needed. Some instruments have their own sterilisation instructions and sterilisation boxes. ROBOUW has recognised this growing problem and has started to develop a solution in the form of generic instrument cassettes for several different (routine) operations. In these partly open (metal wire) cassettes, all relevant instruments can be placed, stored and presented in the most logical configuration for operating theatre personnel. The cassettes are ideal for transportation to and from the CSA. Because of their open structure, the cassettes can be placed directly in the washing machine. After washing the whole cassette is wrapped in special, non-woven material and placed in the sterilisation chamber. After sterilisation, the cassette is ready for transport and use in the operating theatre. Because of cassette use, many steps in the process are skipped or turn out to be far less intensive, which decreases mistakes, damage, wastage, the use of packing material, labour and overall processing time. The overall level of sterilisation increases due to fewer contamination risks. After having developed and successfully sold up to 42 types of cassette, ROBOUW was confronted with requests for cassettes especially for endoscopic instruments. About 40% of current operations in the NETHERLANDS is carried out with invasive surgery which uses endoscopic instruments. These instruments consist of small hollow tubes with complex mechanical (and sometimes electrical and optical) constructions. This high operation percentage, the European trend of converting to centrally organised sterilisation departments in hospitals, growing expert (more uniform European medical legislation), the need to complete the range of sterilisation cassettes and, of course - the stated demand, made ROBOUW decide to develop such an endoscopic cassette. Keywords: endoscopic, cassette, sterilisation.
Acronym: 
ENDOCARE
Project ID: 
2 598
Start date: 
01-09-2001
Project Duration: 
55months
Project costs: 
370 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Medical devices technology (instrumentation, medical imaging, radiology)
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.