What is biosafety?

According to the WHO (2005), biosafety refers to the set of standards, measures and protocols designed in order to protect staff, patients and environment’s health from possible biological, chemical or physical risks.

Thanks to several years of research, it has been possible to establish the necessary rules in order to contribute to risks and infections prevention provoked by the exposition to pathogenic or high biological danger agents.

Biosafety must comply with the following paramount rules:

  1. Regardless of whether the patient is affected by some disease or not, safety measures must be the same for all of them. In fact, medical staff must implement safety standards to prevent possible infections (avoid blood, mucosa or any body fluid contact and so forth).
  2. Use of protection barriers. It is essential to avoid direct exposition to blood or other highly contaminating fluids by using material which play the role of real barriers among individuals; for instance, disposable gloves which remarkably reduce exposition risks
  3. Means of contaminated material elimination. They refer to the protocol and means aimed to eliminate used patient care material in a proper and safe way.

 Protection barriers

In order to comply with the necessary safety measures, hospitals must seriously consider protection barriers which can be divided into two types: biosafety practices and containment barriers implementation.

The first ones encompass the study and knowledge of researched microorganism potential risks and also establish the basic biosafety practices to adopt.

On the other hand, containment barriers refer to the way in which safety means are used, pathogenic agents’ manipulation and technical specifications regarding the very facility. These barriers, in turn, can be classified in two types, such as:

  • Primary containment: measures and equipment which enable medical staff to implement risk prevention. This equipment includes the use of security masks, gloves, shoes and glasses among others.
  • Secondary containment: these barriers refer to hospital facilities, i.e. physical barriers such as safety doors which were designed in order to separate potentially dangerous and contaminating areas from other areas so that it is possible to avoid infection spread, in case of accident.

Secondary containment barriers type

There are several types of secondary containment barriers and all of them have been especially conceived to separate work areas such as laboratory, white rooms or potentially dangerous areas from hospital public ones. In this way, it is possible to reduce contamination or pathogenic exposition risk as far as medical staff and patients are concerned.

Ventilation system are key since it is exactly through air that pathogenic agents can damage the most. In rooms where pathogenic or contaminating elements are treated, ventilation systems guarantee that air flow is directional and the pressure is negative so that it cannot spread to other rooms. Moreover, these rooms are equipped with treatment air systems, aimed at cleaning air as much as possible, and also entry door airlock in order to insulate a specific room or laboratory from the other areas of the hospital.

Automatic doors. Doors are paramount in this type of rooms since they function as barriers and filters among other rooms, operating theatres, laboratory and the remaining hospital areas. The doors of these rooms are different from other doors thanks to their high tightness level; as a matter of fact, they guarantee the necessary tightness in order to avoid indoor/outdoor leaks or access of harmful microorganism or toxic material.

There are three types of automatic doors as explained below:

  • Sliding or swing automatic hermetic doors. They are specifically designed to guarantee tightness by means of a perfect adjustment between the door frame and leaf as well as their finishing aimed at maximizing the hygiene
  • Clear View automatic hermetic glass door. It enables us to have an indoor complete control and also keep pressure, temperature and necessary humidity levels as established. The high tightness level provided by these doors guarantees maximum hygiene and safety.
  • Lead-lined hermetic doors for X-ray rooms. they guarantee adequate insulation thanks to the lead lining on both the leaf and vision panel. They can be hermetic or not as required by the room necessities.

Manusa automatic doors, thanks to the use of materials such as stainless steel, glass or high pressure laminate guarantee both a proper hygiene and a strict compliance of biosafety required standards.