Evolution of the IMS™ Cassettes: Safeguarding health since the beginning of the AIDS era
have been around for a long time and are used routinely within institutional settings such as Universities and hospitals. They are devices that can be made of metal or plastic and can come in a range of sizes and shapes.
In September 1982 , the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) used the term 'AIDS' (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) for the first time, describing it as “a disease at least moderately predictive of a defect in cell mediated immunity, occurring in a person with no known case for diminished resistance to that disease”. In 1983 The CDC also published the first set of recommended precautions for healthcare workers and allied health professionals to prevent "AIDS transmission" and in the same year, the World Health Organization (WHO) held its first meeting to assess the global AIDS situation and began international surveillance. Furthermore, in July 1984 the CDC added that avoiding injecting drug use and sharing needles “should also be effective in preventing transmission of the virus”.
In short, the AIDS was officially recognised as a new infectious disease at the beginning of 1980s and a series of measures were adopted concerning, above all, infection prevention procedures aimed at containing the progressive development of the epidemic.
Following these new strategies and protocols, in all medical fields were adopted all those procedures that could help to prevent the risk of exposure to cross infections, for example the attention given to hand hygiene or the compliance to use the appropriate PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) such as mask, protective eyewear, clinical gloves and adequate footwear.
In this context, Dr. Jerge brought the concept of adopting safe procedures for the transfer of contaminated items to HuFriedyGroup, the company who created the first cassette in 1984.
The idea came out from the necessity to transport contaminated items during the instrument reprocessing in the safest way possible, reducing the risk of injury and exposure to blood borne pathogens. The container needed to be created in such a way to protect both the product during the transit and the handler from contamination and for this reason it had to be leak-proof, easy to clean, rigid, capable of being closed securely and robust enough to prevent instruments being damaged in transit. The solution was the cassette.
The first type of cassette launched by HuFriedyGroup was the Resin Cassette, constructed of high-grade medical resin with soft silicone instrument rails to gently hold instruments in place. Its point of strength was the lightweight.