The 14th Swiss Sterilization Conference which once again was held at the Congress Centre in Biel was entitled “Hand in Hand”.
The seventh Health Facilities Scotland’s decontamination seminar was held on the 2nd May 2018 at the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel in Glasgow, Scotland (UK). This event was organised by the Scottish Health Service Centre and Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) which are both within NHS National Services Scotland. The seminar was attended by 130 delegates including the support from 18 exhibitors. The delegates came from a range of professional backgrounds including decontamination managers and production staff, decontamination engineers, infection prevention and control nurses, theatre nurses, microbiologists, clinicians, estate managers, researchers and innovators from higher education and the independent sectors.
The most applied sterilisation method in healthcare for sterilisation of medical devices is steam. It is shown in literature, that sterilisation practices today are not completely understood [1, 2]. Literature defines “sterile” as “free of all viable organisms” [3]. Conditions to obtain sterile devices in steam sterilisation are specified in the literature [4] and standards [5]. In practice, however, it is noticed that the duration of a steam sterilisation process varies. Although the literature and standards indicate the success of a process depends on the combinations of the steriliser process, load contents, loading pattern and wrapping [5–7], no literature is found that explains the correlation between the weight of the load and the duration of the process.

At what cost?

Should we sterilize all flexible endoscopes? We seem to have been discussing this question for a very long time. I first gave a presentation around this topic in 2012 and some 6 years later we still debate where the to draw the line between those that need to be sterilized, those that should be sterilized and those that don’t need to be. Perhaps because endoscope technology changes so quickly we will always have this discussion. Or maybe the duodenoscope cleaning issues have ignited the debate again.