As Cygnus Medical celebrates their 20th anniversary, we are taking a look at this unique company and how their family of products reflects the innovative style that has come to define them.
Filling a Vacuum: First Step™ Bedside Kits
In 2002, the bedside cleaning of flexible endoscopes was a step many people thought was unnecessary. Although virtually all of the society standards called for wiping down the scope and suctioning enzymatic detergent through the channels at bedside, compliance on a national level was very bad.
As Cygnus Medical’s Vice President of Sales Shaun Sweeney recalls, “I remember people saying, I will be brushing the scope across the hall in 5 minutes, so why bother? Or, why would I pay for a kit when we can make them ourselves.”
Today, it’s common knowledge that you can’t brush a scope channel without first removing the initial gross contamination. It’s a layered process that depends heavily on the prior step being done properly.
By packaging the preformulated enzymatic detergent and cleaning pad in a stand-up pouch, an endoscopy manager was now able to monitor and count how many kits were being used, or not being used. Formulations were exact and the process was repeatable no matter which staff members were involved. Over the years, the importance of bedside cleaning has risen to the top and is now considered one of the most important steps in the high-level disinfection process.
Today, First Step has become synonymous with flexible scope bedside cleaning. The convenience of having a ready-to-use, measurable process, has led to an overwhelming level of compliance.
Recognizing the true problem: Tray Belts™ Sterile Wrap Protection
Sterilization wraps provide an effective barrier and method of preventing the microbial penetration of instrument trays. For years hospitals have struggled to protect wrap from small tears and abrasions that would compromise their efficacy. Foam corner guards were initially introduced as a way to protect the tray wrap from rips caused by the corners of the tray. Although it was a step in the right direction it did not really resolve the problem. The number of rips and abrasions were only reduced slightly or not at all. In many cases, having foam inside of the tray led to an uptick in wet packs as condensation saturated the foam. This only added to the delays.
A large New York City hospital was struggling with this problem which wreaked havoc in the OR suites with constant case delays. A team from Cygnus Medical worked with the sterile processing manager to try to improve the corner guards.
As Sweeney recalls, “the first revelation was that the tears and abrasions were not located in the corners and they were emanating from outside of the tray, not inside.”
For the most part they were not coming from the corners. After several concept versions were tested and eliminated, the final two-ply version of the Tray Belt was created and packaged in 100-foot rolls. Tracking damaged wraps is a common metric in surgical suites. The facility decided to trial the product on ortho loaner trays and track their results. There were roughly 125 loaner sets being processed per day. During the first 90 days of the trial not a single rip or abrasion was detected. Tray Belts were eventually rolled out to all of the wrapped trays and have virtually eliminated the chaotic daily delays that had plagued the hospital. This type of success story has been repeated in hundreds of hospitals throughout the country.
Rethinking the process: Oasis® Scope Transport Trays
Ten years ago, transporting flexible endoscopes to and from a procedure included a wide mix of approaches. Rubbermaid containers, plastic bags, or carrying a scope in your hands, all seemed like they got the job done. But did they really? Next, endoscopy kits with transport pads came into the market, pitting the proper movement of the scope with the efficiencies gained in inventory management. Endoscopy kits that delivered the transport pad to procedure room, and not to the scope storage area, meant scopes would need to be carried by hand from the storage cabinet to the procedure room.
As CRE superbug cases rose and a greater recognition of the presence of biofilm in flexible scopes emerged, the spotlight returned to the topic of scope handling. Reusable containers used for dirty and clean scopes had the potential of transferring contamination from one container to another, and this was problematic. Bags and transport pads also did not adequately offer rigid protection and led to increased scope repairs.
The approach Cygnus Medical took was to balance the needs of reprocessing, safety, efficiency, materials management, and the environment. Cygnus Medical’s answer was the introduction of the Oasis Flexible Endoscope Transport Tray. A single-use tray that offered rigid containment without the threat of cross contaminating the scope or the work area. By incorporating a reversible lid with Clean Scope printed in green on one side, and the Biohazard Legend printed in red on the other, the risk of reusing dirty scopes was greatly reduced, (and yes, this actually has happened more than once.)
For facilities that embrace the material management benefits of kits in the endoscopy suite, Cygnus Medical also offers endo kits with a full complement of components, but without a transport pad (or with for those so inclined.)
One aspect of transport pads that often goes without mention is the amount of waste created by bagging up 20, 30 or even 50 dirty transport pads per day in municipal waste bags. A stack of 50 Oasis Trays fit in one compostable collection bag. They then turn to dirt after a few months in a landfill. Made from a renewable compostable resource lets hospitals make clinically sound infection control choices without sacrificing the planet.
Oasis Trays have led to a range of related products that share in the goal of providing environmentally friendly products that solve nuanced infection control problems.
- Signal™ Compostable Instrument Transport Bags, with double-layered removable Low-Tack Adhesive Labels that change from High-Level Disinfected to the Biohazard Legend.
- Signal™, Multi-layered, Low-Tack labels that change the messaging as instruments change from sterile to contaminated.
- SingleCycle™ Instrument Trays, a biodegradable, autoclavable, single-use surgical instrument tray.
The past 20 years have been an exciting time for Cygnus Medical and we look forward to seeing what new innovations the next 20 will bring.
For more information, visit cygnusmedical.com.