After the Ebola outbreak, hospitals also started including biological safety cabinets to keep infectious patient samples for quick recognition. A typical lab device, a biosafety cabinet, has become an integral part of clinical environments to protect hospital staff from infections caused by aerosols or other procedures involving viruses. Since it features a sterile work area for different samples, the risk of cross-contamination and errors in test results gets eliminated. Still, one may wonder why they should need one. There can be more queries about this lab equipment. Let’s address a few of them quickly.
Requirement for biosafety cabinets
A typical biological safety cabinet ensures three levels of protection – the safety of personnel from hazardous agents inside the cabinet, products from contamination during experimentation or procedures, and the environment from contaminants inside the cabinet. You can determine its utility in your setting by analyzing the type of procedures you perform. You must consider this equipment if you perform operations that can create harmful agents. Think of items like throat swabs, wound samples, etc. During processing, these can produce hazardous aerosols and droplets. With the proper biohazard safety equipment, you can contain all these risks. Check https://topairsystems.com/ for some more knowledge.
Need for space to accommodate biosafety cabinets.
The room dimensions of the facility where you want to keep these unique cabinets should be perfect to avoid any compromises with protection. Some equipment has low safety features, losing their ability to contain pathogens in daily work environments. When you buy this unit, you must consider its safety levels based on your facility’s requirements. Something with a high containment capability can be helpful. Another thing you can check is the cabinet’s position in a room. It is safer to keep it under the air supply ventilation system of the room. However, these may not be suitable for anterooms which should be free of contamination risks.
Things to keep in biosafety cabinets
Personnel can use several tools and devices inside the cabinets, including microscopes, microplates, small centrifuges, microtubes, and others. One must ensure that those tools’ heat load, vibration levels, and size suit the biosafety cabinets. Otherwise, it will affect its productivity and potentially lead to aerosol creation.
Usage of the biosafety cabinets
Following the proper operating methods when using biosafety cabinets is essential to avoid the risk of sample contamination. Before you use the cabinet for an experiment, you can switch on its lamps and blowers about two to three minutes in advance. It will remove the blocked air inside. Window opening height also deserves attention. It should be 8 to 10 inches high for easy operations. Make sure the indoor airflow is good. You can cover the window frame’s opening with a paper towel to check its status. The surfaces need decontamination before you start your experiment. Use reliable disinfectant to wipe the areas. When cleaning, your head should stay outside the cabinet. Clean all the materials well before adding anything to the container.
Once the experiment has started, the operator should ensure the cabinet’s airflow is stable. Also, maintaining slow movements is crucial when operating. If the materials are out, the operation should happen in outward and inward directions, not left or right. It will interfere with the airflow. Avoid using open flames in the cabinet to protect indoor airflow from heat damage. The increased temperature can destroy the cabinet’s HEPA filter. After the experiment, one should clean or disinfect the cabinet entirely. Keep the cabinet fan running during cleaning work to eliminate indoor air. In two to three minutes, it shall do its job. All materials deserve thorough cleaning with chemical disinfectants. Take out all the items from the cabinet. Create a sterile environment with disinfectant for the safety cabinet.
Since improper operations lead to leakage issues in the safety cabinets, you must take care of this. Let the cabinet operate for the aerosols. Next, you can use paper towels to cover the spills. Push the fallen material inward with a circular motion. Direct it to the central location away from the edges. Make sure the towels contain disinfectants, which can be household bleach. After this, you can again decontaminate the cabinet’s surfaces in 20 minutes. For bleach residues on the surface, you can use sterile water. Even a solution containing 70% ethanol can be safe on the stainless steel body.
Why should hospitals have biosafety cabinets?
Contamination risks run high during experimental works. Researchers and authorities can be at greater risk due to a compromised environment. The chances of exposure to dangerous microorganisms can be apparent. And if they spread in the air, they will be even more infectious. With the spread, more people in the surrounding regions will become exposed to pathogens. However, you can minimize these risks with biological safety cabinets as they protect the air from contamination. Researchers can also work peacefully without fearing for their safety. Everyone knows any healthcare study involves several chemicals that may vaporize and wreak havoc.
When healthcare researchers work with such hazardous materials in proximity, biological safety cabinet filters care for the people and the environment. The filters in the device prevent you from breathing in harmful compounds. Also, microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, can be contagious. Influenza, chickenpox, hepatitis, Lyme, measles, and others are examples of this. In some situations, hazardous aerosols can prove even more lethal. You must have witnessed what Lassa fever and the Ebola virus did in the past. When you use safety cabinets, you reduce these risks as well.
You get multiple choices in these lab equipment pieces that serve various purposes. You can choose them based on engineering, filtering system, sash systems, ease of cleanliness, size, and more. In a risky clinical environment, this equipment type is a must-have. Since biosafety cabinets protect people, items, and the environment, they can be a perfect solution to prevent risks in most places. Please check the product description well before placing an order. Also, the room should have enough space where you plan to keep it. You can find a reliable manufacturer for suitable options and guidance.