On today’s terrorist infested battlefield, an improvised explosive device may be triggered at any moment sending shrapnel careening into the bodies of multiple soldiers at once. Medics on the scene need viable ways to save lives without risking infection from using dirty or contaminated medical equipment. A portable chemical sterilizer (PCS) can provide an adequate and timely solution.

Army medics may carry multiple sets of surgical instruments when operating in a forward combat environment. These instruments can only be used once until they have been properly cleaned. After use, they are normally sent back with the patient to the hospital for re-sterilization. When the supply of single use surgical sets are exhausted on site, no more field surgery can be performed until replacements are issued (this process can take hours). That can be a significant problem when multiple attacks occur in a short period of time.

Attempts at sterilization of equipment at far forward locations to provide immediate resupply have been made in the past. This normally requires the use of extremely heavy equipment with plenty of available power. The resources needed to operate an autoclave are not realistically available in combat or emergency situations. Irradiation and fumigation have been explored as options but they are not realistic for use in the field at this time without equipment that requires electricity. The PCS offers a lightweight and practical alternative.

Benefits Of This Innovation

This simple machine saves time, resources, and lives. You can conveniently carry it anywhere necessary. Whole surgical instrument trays can be thoroughly decontaminated in as little as 15 to 30 minutes. It is easily hand carried and requires no power source other than the chemical reagent provided. Operation is relatively quiet and it does not create a significant heat signature that could jeopardize troops by revealing their location.

Large quantities of germ killing chlorine dioxide are created when mixing the reagent with small amounts of water. This FDA approved chemical biocide agent destroys pathogenic organisms. The now germ free surgical instruments cleaned in this apparatus can immediately be reused to save another person’s life. With the proper equipment available in a timely manner and in a sanitary condition, doctors can accomplish the job that they were trained to do.

The PCS can be adapted to work during a wide variety of severe atmospheric conditions, especially when augmented with equipment normally issued to combat soldiers in the field. A special aluminum vessel has been developed to assure the proper temperature and pressure needed for complete sterilization. It has been thoroughly tested under real world conditions and proven to kill 100 percent of potentially harmful bacteria. The reliability of this new piece of technology is just simply amazing.

Patented by Christopher Doona and developed by the NSRDEC-ISR team of scientists specifically for the military, the PCS device has significant potential for civilian rescue applications when mass casualties are involved. To learn more about the details and history of this device I highly recommend that you visit the Natick Army website.