Experts in disinfection and sterilisation are able to provide a compelling insight into the procedures, practices, and proficiency of relevant sterilisation processes.
Every year, millions of invasive medical and surgical procedures (e.g. gastrointestinal endoscopies) are performed. Each procedure involves contact by a surgeon’s glove, medical device, or surgical instrument with a patient’s sterile tissue or mucous membranes. A constant risk of these procedures is the introduction of pathogens leading to infection. Failure to properly disinfect or sterilise equipment carries not only risk associated with breach of host barriers but also risk for person-to-person transmission (e.g. HIV or hepatitis) and transmission of environmental pathogens (e.g. MRSA).
Disinfection and sterilisation are essential for ensuring that medical and surgical instruments do not transmit infectious pathogens to patients. Healthcare procedures should identify, primarily on the basis of the items’ intended use, whether cleaning, disinfection, or sterilisation is indicated.
Multiple international investigations have documented lack of compliance with established guidelines for disinfection and sterilisation. The procedures have been developed based on well-designed studies in laboratory investigations, assessing the efficacy and effectiveness through clinical statistics. Failure to comply with these rigorous guidelines
has led to numerous outbreaks.
- Sterilisation - a process that destroys or eliminates all forms of microbial life and is carried out in healthcare facilities by physical or chemical methods such as pressurised steam, dry heat, ethylene oxide gas, hydrogen peroxide gas, and liquid chemicals.
- Disinfection - a process that eliminates many or all pathogenic microorganisms, except bacterial spores, on inanimate objects. In hospitals and medical centres, objects usually are disinfected by liquid chemicals or wet pasteurisation.
Factors that affect the efficacy of both disinfection and sterilisation include:
- prior cleaning of the object
- amount of organic and inorganic contaminant
- type of microbial contamination
- concentration of, and exposure time to, the germicide, antiseptic or disinfectant
- physical nature of the object (e.g. crevices, folds, hinges, and lumens)
- presence of biofilms
- temperature and pH of the disinfection process
- relative humidity of the sterilisation process in respect of ethylene oxide.
Experts within this field would be able to apply their vast knowledge to a relevant set of facts in attainment of a well-informed opinion. The specialisation required from your particular expert will depend on the circumstances of the matter in examination.
At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget.
Expertise in Action
Experts in disinfection and sterilisation can offer opinions on the likely source (e.g. operation, ward, nursing care) and type of infection, and whether any medical negligence or malpractice has taken place from a breach of procedures. They will have expertise on what equipment, parts, and consumables will need to have what level of sterilisation regime. Experts can also give opinions in intellectual property cases where patents have been filed on new surgical instruments and their sterilisation procedures.
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype