Sanitising your CT scanner

Computerised tomography scanning (CT scanning) has revolutionised medical diagnostics since it was first developed in the 1970s, enabling doctors to look inside the body for anomalies such as problems with blood flow, abnormal soft tissue structures and tumours.

CT scanners use a rotating x-ray tube called a gantry, equipped with detectors that measure x-ray attenuations from different tissues within the body.  The patient lies on a table that slides into the gantry and the images gathered are then assembled using computerised reconstruction algorithms to create cross-sectional images of the body.

CT scans are often used in trauma diagnostics, putting them at increased risk of contamination from blood and body fluids, but even during routine use, there’s a risk that the scanner’s surfaces might be contaminated with contrast medium, saliva from a patient coughing or sneezing, or simply from exhaled particles – something that has been of particular concern during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is vital that all parts of the CT scanner, including the gantry, table, accessories and even the console, which may be in an adjoining room, are effectively cleaned to remove visible soil before being thoroughly disinfected in between uses.  This can be a challenging task due to the size, shape and complexity of this equipment.  

High-risk areas

The cramped inner ring of the gantry, for example, is one of the highest risk parts of the CT scanner in terms of infection control, because it passes close to the body, including the mouth and nose.  However, it can also be one of the most awkward spaces for staff to effectively clean.  Using a disinfectant that’s easy to apply and proven effective in dirty conditions is a great insurance policy against any pathogens that may be lurking.

Many parts of the CT scanner are also vulnerable to damage from harsh cleaning agents.  Strong detergents, alcohol and solvent cleaners are not recommended for use on CT scanners due to the risk of damage to the surface finish and the possibility of structural weakening.  

In addition, excess surface wetting can present a risk to delicate electronics and also to the built-in microphones, which are vital for allowing staff in the console room to communicate with and reassure the patient during the scanning process.  Damage to these components is not only costly to repair – it can put a CT scanner out of commission for weeks, resulting in huge diagnostic backlogs that can ultimately affect patient outcomes.

VIRONEX offers a convenient, effective and reliable solution to the challenges of sanitising CT scanning equipment.  The liquid formula can be used for both manual cleaning and removal of visible soil, as well as stage 2 enhanced cleaning/decontamination.  For both stages, VIRONEX’s unique, continuous mist delivery system makes it simple for staff to achieve a high standard of clinical hygiene.

Simplifying clinical hygiene

Domestic services staff using VIRONEX don’t need to worry about mixing up solutions to the right concentration, or filling trigger sprays – the pre-pressurised canister is always ready for use, and doesn’t need to be charged or plugged in, so al they have to do is wheel it into the scanning room and get started.  

VIRONEX is applied using a spray wand and nozzle that delivers a localised, 20-micron mist directly onto the surfaces being cleaned or sanitised.  This spray density has been specifically engineered to provide excellent surface coverage that penetrates into awkward areas, including joins and seams, while also drying quickly.  To remove physical soiling, VIRONEX can be wiped with a cloth and then reapplied and left to dry for complete, terminal decontamination.  

The optimised spray density also means that VIRONEX falls out of suspension in minutes.  Only basic PPE is required for personnel completing the application, and the exclusion time is just 10 minutes, so scanner downtime is minimised.  Coupled with the sheer ease of application, it’s perfectly possible for your scanner to be fully disinfected, dry and ready to use again in 20 minutes or less.

Another plus with VIRONEX is the safety of the formulation itself.  It’s free from alcohol and aldehydes, and safe to use on virtually all surfaces, with low surface absorption.  This means it won’t stain, dry out or corrode the surfaces of your scanner, ensuring they remain smooth, hygienic and strong for many years while protecting delicate accessories like microphones from damage.

To find out more about VIRONEX and its application in hospital environments, including disinfecting high-tech diagnostic equipment, get in touch.