PRIMUS Sterilizer
Local company's device sought by many to prevent deadly infections from spreading

OMAHA, Neb. —Dozens of world leaders and scientists met in Omaha on Wednesday, trading ideas and information in the fight against the Ebola virus.

Video: Local company's device sought by many to prevent deadly infections from spreading

When treating contagious diseases, a pressurizing device is vital.

"What we're doing is taking steam, pressurizing that, heating it up to 132 degrees Celsius, so we can sterilize whatever you want to kill," Dave Schall of Primus Sterilizer said.

Schall uses a sterilizer for Nebraska Medicine when the hospital needed support to handle Ebola patients.

"Right now, if they have one patient in (the) biocontainment unit, they're producing approximately 1,100 pounds of waste that needs to be sterilized each day," Schall said.

Schall's company, Primus Sterilizer, took weeks to perfect the product, and now it's paying off.

"We recently shipped several sterilizers to Johns Hopkins (University) for their Ebola unit," Dave Counley of Primus Sterilizer said.

The Omaha-based company said its sterilizer is in high demand as more hospitals follow Nebraska Medicine's lead and build up biocontainment units.

"This is one part of the business that continues to grow," Counley said.

The sterilizer does more than kill germs, it protects the medical professionals who use it.

Every time the chamber is used, it's tested to make sure it's working. Strips on the pressurizer make sure the chamber is full of steam and not air.

If the cycle is not completed successfully, the doors to the chamber won't open. The product is a hot commodity for facilities looking to prepare for Ebola, a superbug or whatever comes next.

Nebraska Medicine told KETV NewsWatch 7 that it has applied for federal grants to purchase a second Primus Sterilizer for the biocontainment unit.

By Melissa Fry, KETV NewsWatch 7