Wassenburg Medical Ireland Invests in the Future of Healthcare with TU Dublin

21 Jun, 2022

Global healthcare company Wassenburg Medical Ireland has invested €280,000 in a healthcare-driven innovation partnership with TU Dublin to establish a state-of-the-art Medical Device Decontamination facility (MDD-Hub) on the University’s flagship campus in Grangegorman.

Located at the very heart of the campus in the Central Quad, the MDD-Hub is a landmark training suite custom-designed to reflect the working practice of a functional sterilisation unit in a healthcare environment. Wassenburg Medical Ireland's donation is in support of the University's Transforming Tomorrow Campaign, which is helping develop cutting-edge facilities for TU Dublin students, such as the Wassenburg MDD-Hub.

Wassenburg Medical was founded by Gerrit Wassenburg in 1984 when he identified a critical need for effective decontamination of reusable medical devices such as endoscopes. In the 1980s, it was normal practice to wash and disinfect these devices manually; however, manual disinfection does not remove all potentially infectious material. In response, Wassenburg developed a new system in which endoscope channels are individually connected, washed, disinfected, controlled and monitored during reprocessing, which is still the foundation for the company's state-of-the-art endoscope washer-disinfectors today.

Speaking about the partnership with TU Dublin, Rob Vavasour, Managing Director, Wassenburg Medical B.V., said:

Medical devices are a cornerstone of modern medical practice, supporting diagnostics, surgery and therapy; however, their safe use requires that they are fully decontaminated before reuse. Our company vision is to provide an infection-free, safe and user-friendly endoscope reprocessing process in every hospital or clinic, and we are delighted to support the development of the first practice-based Medical Device Decontamination training facility in Irish Higher Education. The MDD-Hub offers students a real-life learning experience to support quality healthcare delivery, meeting the clinical challenges of safe medical device decontamination."

Identifying a skills gap for Medical Device reprocessing, the School of Biological and Health Sciences at TU Dublin launched the first national  Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Level 7 programme in Medical Device Decontamination in 2016, with the welcome support of industry. Thanking Wassenburg Medical Ireland for their generous support, Associate Professor Mary Hunt, Head, School of Biological and Health Sciences, said, "In partnership with Wassenburg Medical Ireland, TU Dublin is well-positioned to establish the MDD-Hub as a national centre of excellence that provides a framework for best practice in healthcare and supports bench-to-bedside research to inform medical device decontamination in Ireland. The opening of the Hub is the result of a long and fruitful collaboration with Mr Hugh O'Connor, Authorised Engineer in Medical Decontamination, Dr Celine Herra, Senior Lecturer and Medical Microbiologist in TU Dublin and Mr Rob Vavasour, Managing Director, Wassenburg Medical BV."

Continuing, Dr Hunt said:

"The MDD-Hub is fitted with endoscopy, surgical, ultrasonic, ophthalmic and dental medical devices and clinical decontamination systems, including Sterilisers, Washer Disinfectors, Endoscope Washers and Ultrasound Probe Disinfectors, that facilitate authentic student-centred learning and expert teaching. This unique education facility will also provide a platform for professional development and an academic interface with market leaders in the medical device and clinical decontamination industry that supports research and product development in decontamination science and infection control."

Read more about the School of Biological and Health Sciences on their website.