What is an ULPA Filter & What Makes I.C. Medical’s Smart?

ULPA filters are among the most efficient and effective air purifying filters available. ULPA is an acronym for Ultra-Low Particulate Air, and the term actually refers to the filtration standard and not any specific type of air filter.

A standard ULPA filter removes at least 99.999 percent of dust, pollen, mold, microbes, bacteria and other airborne particles with a size of 100 nanometers (0.1μm) or larger from the air. Surgical smoke evacuation ULPA filters are qualified as being 99.9995 percent efficient in removing particles 0.12 microns or larger that may be emitted during a surgical procedure.

Smart ULPA: Porosity is a key consideration in the selection of fibers for construction of an ULPA filter.  Measured in pores-per-linear-inch, or ppi, lower porosity allows less air flow but more filtration. Another critical consideration is the ability to prevent fluid seepage. The best surgical ULPA filters are made of hydrophobic filtering media, meaning that the fabric is chemically formulated to repel fluids.

Being hydrophobic, the filter fabric does not allow fluid to pass through into the smoke evacuator or to contaminate the mechanism. I.C. Medical’s ULPA Filter with Built-in Fluid Trap is made of hydrophobic material that uses proprietary technologies and a special polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The material is manufactured in the United States.

Smarter ULPA:  Unique among smoke evacuators, I.C. Medical’s UPLA Filter with Built-in Fluid Trap incorporates a fluid trap. Ordinary smoke evacuation models on the market require the purchase and assembly of the fluid trap as an accessory rather than as part of the filter itself. Surgical nurses have described incidents of blood seeping from the ULPA filter plug-in port because the fluid trap was not a standard component of the filter. What’s more, the add-on fluid trap is an additional expense.

Smart ULPA features:  Another sophisticated feature of I.C. Medical’s ULPA filter is its built-in indicator that measures the flow behind the media of the filter. The indicator detects the level of pressure and issues an alert when the filter is not capturing at 100 percent capacity. The device emits both an audible beep and visual light indicating that the filter should be changed. 

Most standard smoke evacuators rely on an arbitrary usage duration time (typically 16 hours of use in open procedures) to guesstimate when the ULPA filter should be changed. Such time estimates are based on “average use” and make no allowance for surgeries that may produce heavy fluids (e.g., DIEP flap) or for simple dermatological biopsies. The type of surgical procedure significantly impacts the effective lifespan of an ULPA filter.

Super smart design and engineering: I.C. Medical’s Crystal Vision smoke evacuation device was designed thoughtfully to separate the ULPA filter from the charcoal output filter. These two filters have entirely different jobs. The ULPA filter does the heavy lifting of trapping fluids and particulates, while the output filter removes odors and gases from the air before releasing it into the OR. They do not depend on each other.

Designed as a separate component, the Crystal Vision’s ULPA Filter with Built-in Fluid Trap can easily be removed, replaced and disposed of after a procedure when fluids are visible. This allows the charcoal output filter to remain attached to the smoke evacuator and continue cleansing exhaust air efficiently and effectively throughout its useful lifespan.  Poorly designed models that utilize an enclosed filter system (i.e., one that combines the ULPA and charcoal filters) risk allowing fluids and pathogens to contaminate the device. Moreover, this type of design makes it necessary to replace the entire filter mechanism when only the ULPA filter (a relatively inexpensive disposable item) needs to be changed.

Smart, sophisticated, convenient, efficient, cost-effective – and thoughtfully designed to be the most advanced ULPA smoke evacuation filter available. What’s not to love about the I.C. Medical ULPA Filter with Built-in Fluid Trap?

 

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