Benefits of Using a CSTD #
There are many benefits to using a closed system transfer device with automation. The combination of using the EQUASHIELD® CSTD and the EQUASHIELD® Pro results in the highest level of safety and efficiency.
Using the CSTD in conjunction with the EQUASHIELD® Pro provides a higher level of safety including:
- Preventing exposure to hazardous drugs and their vapors: The use of the EQUASHIELD® CSTD covers more routes of exposure. Using a CSTD prevents contamination of the EQUASHIELD® Pro surfaces, the compounded preparations, the clean room environment, and even the gloves of the operator. To date, all other automated compounders use an open system and are potentially contaminating the workspace. This is especially true in the event of a malfunction. EQUASHIELD® Pro is the only automated compounders that uses a completely closed system from start to finish of the compounding process.
- Preventing cross-contamination of drugs: When working with open systems and pressurized vials, the escape of drugs onto surfaces and the environment is inevitable. Using CSTDs prevents the escape of drugs, thereby minimizing the potential for cross-contamination.
- Microbial contamination prevention: Studies show that using a CSTD, particularly the EQUASHIELD® CSTD, prevents microbial contamination in the vials, syringe units, and IV Bags. This is a critical aspect in sterile compounding, especially when the patients have a weakened immune system. Using a CSTD may even extend the beyond-use-date of vials, resulting in financial savings and less drug waste.
In addition to safety, utilizing the EQUASHIELD® CSTD maximizes throughput. In general, it is impossible to achieve optimal efficiency with automation without a consumable. Efficiency is achieved by using the CSTD due to:
- Same surface interface: Using the EQUASHIELD® CSTD has the same surface interface despite variability in the size of consumables. For example, all the vial adaptors have the same surface interface that interacts with the EQUASHIELD® Pro. Therefore, the user does not need to calibrate or make adjustments based on the size of the vial. This saves the user a lot of time required for adjustments and calibrations.
- Robust connections and disconnection: The EQUASHIELD® CSTD has a robust connection and disconnection to other EQUASHIELD® components. It is a quick ‘snap on/snap off’ process that doesn’t require intentional, slow handling. This is different than the delicate handling of needles and syringes. Needles need to be handled slowly and with sensitivity so that they don’t bend, cause coring, release the content of the syringe, etc. Therefore, movements operating a needle-based system are deliberately slow and careful.
- Built-in pressure equalization process: EQUASHIELD® CSTD is designed around the principle of pressure equalization. Since there are two needles within the system equilibrating the pressure, there is no need to accommodate the pressure with environmental air. On the contrary, a compounder using needles must accommodate for pressure changes during the compounding process with glass vials. This means that the syringe must withdraw environment equal to the amount of drug to be withdrawn from the vial. Then, the environmental air needs to be injected into the vial, creating an overpressure in the vial. Only then can the compounder withdraw the desired amount of drug. Essentially, the EQUASHIELD® CSTD bypasses all these steps and decreases the compounding time.