This article provides some guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting simulators and simulator equipment.
Frasca recommends practicing routine cleaning to remove dirt and dust particles as well as cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (see list below).
Viruses may remain viable for hours sometimes up to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of illnesses in a community setting.
- Cleaning refers to removing germs, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but it removes them. This lowers the numbers of germs and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Disinfection does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but killing germs on a surface after cleaning can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Recommended Cleaning Solutions
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol should be effective. Solutions of up to 91% isopropyl alcohol are also acceptable.
CAUTION: Avoid using cleaners containing ammonia on displays or LCDs.
- Disinfectant wipes (Do not use on Monitors, or Polycarbonate Lenses covering CGI.)
- Household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Follow the labels instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions to take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and providing good ventilation during use of the product
Cleaning and Disinfection
- Disinfecting should take place after each training session, or after maintenance has been performed on the simulator.
- Cleaning and disinfection should occur after any person suspected of being infected has used or worked in the immediate vicinity of the simulator, and is no longer present.
Equipment to be Cleaned (if applicable)
- Any surface that can be touched or affected by respiratory droplets or dirt particles.
- Electronics Cabinet
- Cabinet Surfaces (Including computer doors)
- Maintenance Keyboard
- Maintenance Monitor
- KVM Switch
- IOS/Debrief Station/Observer Station
- Main Power Key Switch
- IOS Box
- Headsets (Frasca discourages the sharing of headsets)
- Monitor(s)(Touch screen and Non-Touch) *Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
- Keyboard and Mouse
- Wireless Devices used to connect to Remote IOS or RTD IOS
- Communications Equipment (headsets)
- Cockpit Controls
- Garmin Displays (see Service Advisory 2051: Cleaning/Disinfecting Guidance)
- Instrument Panel
WARNING: Use caution when cleaning the Instrument Panel polycarbonate, pushing too hard on the material can cause damage?
- Switches and Switch Panels
- Visual Screen: The visual screens (spherical and cylindrical) may be cleaned by using a feather duster to remove the dust from the screen. The screen can be touched gently, however do not use harsh materials that can scratch the screen.
- Any other surfaces not covered in this list
Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
- Shutdown the Simulator.
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Wash your hands immediately after gloves they are removed.
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
- For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, IOS seats, cockpit seats, and seat belts, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces.