In clinics and hospitals, many of the processes connected with internal logistics are hidden to the human eye. But behind the scenes, they keep the “system” up and running. One of the functions of internal logistics is handling the movements of medical samples. These are generally sent back and forth between the main lab, satellite labs and the microbiology department – often via PTT (pneumatic tube transport). PTT is not the mere realm of academic institutions – it is also used by hospitals not affiliated with universities.
RKI requirement: safe packaging for pneumatic tube transport
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI)’s guidelines for hospital hygiene and the prevention of infection list requirements for conveying samples (thus potentially infectious substances) via PTT. These must be packaged in “unbreakable, waterproof, tear-proof packaging”. Before entering the tube system, any containers coming from potentially infectious departments or areas (as defined in clause 5.2.2 in the guidelines) must be disinfected. Before entering or leaving areas which require particular protection against infection (this is defined in clause 5.2.1 of the guidelines), containers must pass through an airlock in the same way as other materials destined for such areas (as per paragraph 7). Hand-washing facilities and hand sanitisers must be provided for the staff who handle incoming or outgoing deliveries.
Sought and found: teaching hospital finds DEBATIN
In light of the strict legal requirements, a German teaching hospital found itself in need of a partner to provide secondary packaging for category B medical samples. The challenge lay in finding a hygienic solution for transporting samples internally – by hand or via PTT –that would also meet all requirements for external transportation.
“If samples are being transported internally, regulations such as the ADR (European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road) don’t apply, of course,” explains Robin Fabry, area sales manager for Anton Debatin GmbH. “However, our customer definitely wanted to protect staff and patients from the dangers posed by contaminated materials.” The answer: DEBAMED® Speci-Bags and DEBASAFE® medical transport bags for samples.