I am seeing black specs in the filters inside Phoenix machines when I perform PMs. Anyone else have this issue? Any ideas?
Are you using bleach for daily disinfections? if that's the case, it seems to disintegrate the membrane in the pressure sensors (black Endress+Hauser type). If you remove them and look through you can see the damaged membrane
We use mainly heat, with 6% bleach once a week. So you have also seen this issue? Our concern is that this debris can get into the dialyzer.
Bax-Gam came out with a bulletin quite a while back about it. I believe there was also one regarding black specs in the BiCarts, which could end up in your filters. They said it was "normal" (what IS "normal" with a Phoenix?)
If it is shedding at the PI transducer, that material can migrate directly to the dialyzer.
First, all items in a machine must be inert, i.e. non-pyrogenic; even when destroyed by bleach or other chemicals.
Second, the black specks in the BiCarts was found to be iron that was left from the manufacturing process used to make NaHCO3. It was inert.
Third, even if it makes it through to the dialyzer, it is/will be in the dialysate side. It is too large to make it into the blood side. If you can see it, it is too large. And it will be inert material so it cannot cause an inflamatory reaction to the patient.
So if you have a component deteriorating, replace it. If it is found in the BiCart, continue using it.
And your worry is?
I guess my concern as a clinician/manager/technician would be the form of deterioration, for instance how small the particles can be become as it sheds, and if that can reach a level where it actually passes through the dialyzer along with the solution. Regardless, any foreign or unintended material present at the dialyzer should gain immediate attention, not to mention the material you could be exposing to the fluid path beneath whatever is 'shedding'. As material sheds, it exposes more material which could potentially have a microbiologically unsafe element to it. That is not up to me to make that determination, the manufacturer would do that, I am trying to find out if others have seen black specs at the filters which it sounds like possibly they have.
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