The use of Cidex OPA is prevalent throughout medical care facilities around the world. This is a powerful cleaner that is able to provide a broad spectrum cleaning solutions for most common viruses, fungi and bacteria found in healthcare settings. It is fast acting, doesn’t require mixing or activation and it is fully compatible with most materials including metals, plastics, adhesives and elastomers.
However, it is important to use the correct concentration of the cleaner to achieve these results. Failing to use the recommended amount of cleaner will result in an increase in infections and complications for patients and for the medical facilities.
To verify that the correct level of Cidex OPA (ortho-phthalaldehyde) is at or above the recommended levels it will be important to test each load of solution before using to clean any medical equipment. This is particularly important with scopes and other types of devices as these have been the cause of many of the past issues with infection because of incorrectly mixed solutions.
The Testing Process
As it would be time consuming to test for contaminants on the equipment after cleaning, this is not a practical consideration. Instead, the use of Cidex OPA test strips allows the technician or staff member to simply test the solution.
This should be done for every load, even when there is no variation in the amount of disinfectant solution used in the load. Testing with the Cidex OPA test strips is very simple.
The testing strips are a pass-fail type of test based on the color change with exposure to the solution. When the concentration of the ortho-phthalaldehyde is at or below the 0.3% minimum effective concentration (MEC), the color blue will be blue and indicates a fail.
Concentrations above the 0.3% MEC will provide a green color, indicating pass for the test. This test using the Cidex OPA test strips is completed in just 60 seconds, providing quick verification the solution is effective to use.
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