Leanne Gater, a documentary film maker from Wild Films contacted SMTL earlier this year about a documentary project on Horseshoe Crabs. SMTL undertake endotoxin testing for NHS facilities across Wales using LAL, a substance derived from the blood of these Horseshoe Crabs.
Leanne wanted to to demonstrate how Horseshoe Crabs aid in keeping millions of people safe though endotoxin testing, but also how they’re also suffering from a decline in population and what could be done to help save the species.
Endotoxins are complexes associated with the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria which are constantly shed into the environment and released when the bacteria die or multiply. Bacterial endotoxins are the most common and by far the most potent pyrogen (pyrogen literally means heat generating, and the term refers to any substance, microbial or otherwise, which would induce a temperature rise when introduced into a patient). Commonly used methods of sterilisation generally do not destroy endotoxins, therefore a product may be sterile and free of viable microorganisms but not necessarliy be endotoxin-free.
Leanne spent time at SMTL in October 2019 and filmed SMTL staff undertaking the tests which we perform for Health Boards across Wales, checking that their surgical instruments have been reprocessed appropriately and that there is no unsafe level of residual endotoxin on their instrument.
We will update this page when we know the date of release of Leanne's film.