An autoclave sterilizes equipment, devices, and instruments with pressurized steam, which is the most widely used form of sterilization for medical purposes. Continue reading this quick guide to medical steam sterilization to find out more.
Parameters and Loading Techniques
To sterilize equipment effectively, the operator must check the autoclave’s parameters. They must ensure the right values for temperature, pressure, steam contact, and time. It’s important to note that cycle time and temperature recommendations vary depending on your autoclave and the type of load it’s processing.
Steam stores more energy than dry air or water at equal temperatures, making it a better sterilization medium. It’s critical for the steam to make direct contact with the surface of each item. Therefore, you must spread the load evenly across the tray so that once you start the sterilization process, air can exit the chamber and steam can fully penetrate the load.
Three Phases of Steam Sterilization
The steam sterilization process typically involves three phases: conditioning, exposure, and cool-down. During the conditioning phase, the autoclave removes air from the chamber and raises the heat to the recommended sterilizing temperature.
During the exposure phase, the load is exposed to steam for a set time. Finally, in the cool-down phase, the steam exits the chamber, and the pressure goes down. A vacuum helps draw out the steam and dry the load.
As this quick guide shows, medical steam sterilization works well when operators follow the right practices, and when autoclaves maintain the necessary parameters for effective steam sterilization. Healthcare facilities can buy new or refurbished autoclaves when they want to expand, upgrade, or replace their equipment.
At times, components of certain autoclaves are no longer supported or available. Older autoclaves typically require more time to complete the process than newer models, and the efficacy of the sterilizer might become compromised from wear and tear.
If you want a reliable autoclave that efficiently sterilizes your instruments, visit All States M.E.D. We offer a range of new and refurbished medical equipment in Miami. Balance your budget requirements and need for quality equipment by shopping with us today.