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25 February 2005


Safer Hospital Surgery Now Possible For All Patients

STERIS Limited today announced that its product for removing and inactivating prion contamination from surgical instruments is immediately available for sale and use in United Kingdom hospitals. The detergent can remove and inactivate prion contamination from surgical instruments in 15 minutes, making it a unique and record breaking product. The technology will be showcased at the Patients Association Clean Hospital Summit taking place on 14/15 April 2005 in central London.

This news follows research published in The Lancet last year which revealed that STERIS’ Prion Inactivation Detergent removes and inactivates the dangerous prions present on surgical instruments and other healthcare equipment. No simple method has previously been available for tackling the deadly proteins behind BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or mad cow disease) and vCJD (variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) which does not damage the surfaces of medical instruments or other sensitive healthcare equipment being cleaned.

The Lancet research demonstrated that when surfaces are treated with the detergent solution, prions previously present on the surfaces are inactivated. This presents a major opportunity for reducing the risk of the transmission of CJD/BSE between patients each time medical equipment is re-used.

Speaking about the Prion Inactivation Detergent, Dr. Gerald McDonnell, senior director, Technical Affairs, STERIS Limited, said, “This product is now available for use in United Kingdom hospitals. It’s a breakthrough for patient safety and is a major step in starting to win the war against prions. The product has been CE marked for this application and provides a reliable method to eliminate all prions from correctly cleaned surgical instrumentation prior to their use on another patient. The technology doesn’t just remove the prions from the surface of the instrument; it actually inactivates the prion and reduces the onward transmission risk.”

The technology is now available for use in hospital sterile service departments where surgical instruments are cleaned between use on patients. The new product has been trialled at an NHS hospital in the Basingstoke area.


1. For further comment please contact Nick Sutcliffe on +44 20 7526 3622 or on +44 7730 898 165.

2. Prion Inactivation Detergent is new product is provided by STERIS Limited in Europe. STERIS Limited is a subsidiary of STERIS Corporation, a U.S. company headquartered in Mentor, Ohio.. The mission of STERIS Corporation is to provide a healthier today and safer tomorrow through knowledgeable people and innovative infection prevention, decontamination, and health science technologies, products, and services. For more details about STERIS see

3. The technology will be showcased in a seminar at the Patients Association Clean Hospital Summit taking place on 14/15 April 2005 in central London. Details of the summit are available at:

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of APCO UK in the following categories: Health, for more information visit