Autoclaves for COVID-19 Test Waste
When testing for COVID-19 (or the SARS-CoV-2 virus) is done outside of a hospital environment, a large medical-grade autoclave may not be available for sterilising any medical waste. Furthermore, many types of tests are processed off-site at a laboratory that also needs to safely dispose of potentially infectious waste. In these contexts, a smaller lab autoclave like those offered by Priorclave may be a more efficient and agile way to effectively sterilise waste products without the high expense associated with purchasing and operating a hospital autoclave.
Hospital autoclaves are large machines that often run around the clock to sterilise equipment and waste for an entire hospital. As such, they are really not the right tool for smaller clinics, testing centres, and labs. In the UK, testing often happens at drive-in/walk-in sites, at airports, or in other contexts where a hospital autoclave is not nearby. Depending on the test type, the test may then be sent to a laboratory for processing. While there are businesses that specialize in collecting and disposing of medical wastes, this may not be a feasible option for all locations and may not be adequate either.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has specifically called out autoclaves as an appropriate method for decontamination in their guidelines for facility design for the novel coronavirus, stating that “appropriate methods for decontamination of waste, for example disinfectants and autoclaves, must be available in proximity to the laboratory.”
Priorclave autoclaves are already being used in laboratories across the UK. If you want to learn more about the role that an autoclave could play in your laboratory or test site, reach out to our experts here.