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Clinical Samples Policies

Sorting Clinical Samples

The ongoing pandemic has provided us with a chance to re-evaluate our protocols.  The industry has moved to use of both an AMO (aerosol management unit) PLUS a biosafety cabinet or other secondary aerosol protection (such as a mask) for clinical sample sorts.  We assume all human samples are infectious…the emergence of COVID, particularly with its asymptomatic presentation, is an example of why this assumption is important for sort operator biosafety.  

Sort Policies for Clinical Samples:

  • Containment of Aerosols

  • Clinical sorts must be in a single instrument room (ie., no other researchers in the room during the sort)

-Currently AIDA, PICI, Falstaff, , Don Carlo, Mikado and Carmen

-Priority will be given to clinical sorts on these machines - we may move you to a different instrument, if possible, so that a clinical sample may run.

-Eg.  if you need a clinical instrument and only non-clinical are available, please see staff to see if someone can be moved to a different instrument

  • The door must be closed at all times from time sample is loaded until 30 min AFTER sort has ended (so until cleaning is complete).

  • Users should assume that the AMO releases some aerosols into the room, and that these may be infectious and the door should remain closed to contain those aerosols.

  • Limited materials brought into sorter room – no laptops, notebooks, etc. 

  • All required supplies must be present in room at the start of the sort (check for sufficient tubes, swabs, etc)

  • The Aerosol Management System (AMS) needs to be on at all times while the sample is running

  • User must be able to demonstrate proper procedure if a clog occurs. Please refer to the Aria Guide for this information.

  • We will routinely spot-test proficiency with clog management.

  • Proper BSL-2 cleaning must be performed at the end of the sort. Please refer to the Aria Guide for this information.

  • PPE:

-If the sorter does NOT have a biosafety cabinet, a Mask KN95 or better is HIGHLY recommended while working with clinical samples within the FACS Facility.

-Currently fitted N95 are in short supply and only available for healthcare workers; KN95 are not as effective as they do not seal tightly to the face, but are more protection than a face covering

-Mask, Gown, gloves, closed toed shoes required

Samples with known infections (ex., COVID+ PBMC)

  • These samples will be run by staff only.

  • Must be booked on PICI or Don Carlo only

  • Other known infectious samples will be evaluated on a project-by-project basis

Last modified: 
Thu, 9 Sep 2021 at 2:41 pm