WirthlinWorldwide Releases Comparative National Study on Sterilization Acceptance and Usage in the Operating Room

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- WirthlinWorldwide, a leading market research and polling firm, released today a comprehensive, comparative study on the use and acceptance of various sterilization technologies in the operating room.

The study, which surveyed operating room nurses and infection control practitioners across the United States, found that liquid chemical sterilization is the preferred method of sterilizing delicate instruments such as flexible endoscopes and other heat-sensitive medical devices.

The survey was designed to minimize respondent bias through an "aided to unaided" flow of questions, and through "aided response rotation" of various sterilization systems explored in the study. A random representative sample of hospitals throughout the country was obtained from the American Hospital Association guide. The sponsor of the research study, STERIS Corporation, the manufacturer of the SYSTEM 1 liquid chemical sterilizer and a leading designer and manufacturer of hospital sterilization and disinfection systems, was not disclosed during interviewing. WirthlinWorldwide completed 360 random interviews comprised of 181 operating room nurses and 179 infection control/quality assurance practitioners.

The WirthlinWorldwide study provided a comparative analysis of the following sterilization technologies:

· Steam Autoclaving

· Peracetic Acid Liquid Chemical Sterilization

· Glutaraldehyde

· Ethylene Oxide

· Hydrogen Peroxide Gas Plasma

The study found that while steam autoclaving is the preferred method for sterilizing surgical instruments such as scalpels, forceps and clamps, liquid chemical sterilization is the preferred method for sterilizing delicate instruments such as flexible endoscopes and other heat-sensitive medical devices.

"OR nurses and infection control practitioners clearly perceive liquid chemical sterilization as an important technologyool in the fight against infection in the OR," said Steve Bodhaine, director of WirthlinWorldwide's healthcare practice, who directed the survey research.

In terms of acceptance of individual sterilization technologies, the study found that seven in ten hospitals use peracetic acid liquid chemical sterilization have an average of 2.5 SYSTEM 1 processors in their ORs, with hospital personnel using the systems that employ this technology an average of eight times a day.

Further findings indicate that the SYSTEM 1 Sterile Processing Systemliquid chemical sterilization is a leading sterilization technology on several fronts, including sterilization efficacy, reprocessing speed, ease of use, operational safety, and quality control. The survey also demonstrates that OR nurses and infection control practitioners clearly understand the different benefits and uses of steam autoclaving and liquid chemical sterilization.

"Overall, OR nurses and infection control practitioners are using a variety of technologies when it comes to sterilizing surgical instruments," said Bodhaine. "Among these technologies, liquid chemical sterilizationSYSTEM 1 wa was rated most effective in the OR for the sterilization of heat-sensitive cameras, rigid endoscopes, accessories, and delicate instruments."

When rating performance, peracetic acid liquid chemical sterilizationSo essential, in fact, that 98 percent of operating room nurses who have access to the SYSTEM 1 unit, and 9 in 10 infection control practitioners agree -- having a SYSTEM 1 processor available in the OR is extremely valuable in the fight against infection. Additionally, the SYSTEM 1 processor received a 9.6 out of 10 on its effectiveness in eliminating microorganisms-the essential element of the sterilization process.

The WirthlinWorldwide study has a margin of error of +/-5.2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.