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COVID-19: How to clean your systems and accessories

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) has an enormous impact on all of us. Universities are closed, research that is not related to COVID-19 has been put on hold. From what we have seen happening around us in the society, but also learned from the experts in the field, we will have to deal with a 'new reality'. One that includes a potentially lethal virus, for which there is no vaccine yet. At the moment though, most of us are at home, probably writing papers, grant applications, or still doing research. But what will happen when we can go back to the lab and start our experiments again? All our amplifiers can be disinfected using available medical disinfectants.

This blog is about generic hygienic precautions and cleaning instructions for TMSi devices and accessories that you are using on patients or subjects. How do you clean them properly and are there specific actions you have to perform to prevent spreading of the virus, in case one of your patients or subjects is infected? There are mixed reports on the survival chance of the virus on materials such as textile, plastic and metal. The probability might be small, we all have seen the major effects in society when mass spreading of the virus occurs, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Please read our cleaning instructions below. Most of these instructions can also be found in the User Manuals, which you can find on our support page!

Amplifiers

All our amplifiers can be disinfected using available medical disinfectants. We have tested the use of Incidin® Plus by Ecolab to clean SAGA, Porti and Refa without negative influence on the enclosure or appearance or functioning of these devices. The same applies for Mobita, Mobi and MobiMini. Always make sure that water or other fluids cannot enter the device (especially at the connector side). If this happens, always contact TMSi Support to have your device checked. We recommend to clean the device after each use, especially whenthe devices come in direct contact with the subject or yourself.

Head caps

The Brainwave EEG head cap is still safe to use for clinical purposes. Our cleaning instructions comply with the hygiene standard in the current COVID-19 crisis. Next to that we suggest a hygienic treatment of the EEG cap according to the guidelines related to the COVID-19 crisis in the country or hospital of use. Follow the prescriptions from your central sterilisation department and use the guideline for chemical disinfection. Use a disinfectant which is effective against vegetative bacteria, myco bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts and bacterial spores. Please do not use any harmful detergents or submerging cleaning methods.

After use, remove the cap gently and clean it immediately before the gel can dry up. When using the above-mentioned gel mixture, dry the hair with a towel and comb out the remains of the electrode gel. Rinse the cap with lukewarm water and use a mild detergent to clean the fabric and electrodes. A soft toothbrush can be used to remove any hard stains and residues. Dry the cap with a soft towel and hang it out to dry completely. When hung out to dry make sure that the connector is higher than the cap to avoid any water getting inside the connector. Do not use a hairdryer, this can damage the fabric. Never use any hard objects to remove remains from the electrodes. Never soak cable(s)/connector(s) in water, this will damage it irreversibly.

For cleaning non disposable medical devices (such as the head caps), the WHO recommends the use of 70% ethyl alcohol for cleaning of non disposable medical devices in clinical settings and repetitive usages. WHO guidelines (opens in new tab)

Cables, electrodes and sensors

Cables and electrodes come in contact with patients and the skin of patients. Make sure that the skin is clean and dry. After using the cables or electrodes, clean them using a damp cloth. You can clean leads with some mild detergent. Make sure no water or fluid can enter the connector.

If you are using active sensors such as respiration sensor or GSR, clean them as indicated above, but always make sure that connector parts remain dry. If you are in doubt, let them dry for a longer period of time or contact us

(Semi-)Disposable grids

Our grids for High Density EMG and cEEG are semi-disposable.  If you are careful you can reuse them a couple of times. We recommend during this crisis that you do not use them on different patients or subjects during this crisis. When you would decide to reuse the grids anyway, clean them carefully using alcohol. This might lead to faster deterioration of the electrode grids, so make sure you always check the signal quality when you decide to re-use. If electrodes remain flat lines, or when they start showing interference like signals or artefacts, replace the grid with a new one. New grids can always be ordered in our webshop, here.

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