Sterilizing

What is a Flash Sterilization Cycle?

A flash is when we need something sterilized quickly.  In my experience, it was from a dropped instrument, one that was found just in time, or it came from another facility. Usually the flash sterilization cycle is the fastest one programmed into the autoclave.  It is often gravity (without a vacuum cycle).  Depending on the sterilizer you’re using, the buttons might be called gravity or flash. Some countries and corporations have put limits to the use of gravity sterilization, so its use is dependent. Flashing Dropped Surgical Instruments In the…

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Sterilizing

How Autoclaves Work: Simple (…and Professional) Answer

There is some confusion about how autoclaves work, so I hope to clear it up in this article.  Autoclaves are also called “steam sterilizers”. These machines decontaminate and sterilize instruments or gear that are needed for different uses such as: surgery, dental procedures, tattoos, and even mushroom growing! The whole process is called the “sterilization process”, and it consists of the autoclaves creating: pressure, heat, steam. Over the decades of research, specific times, temperatures, pressures, and packaging practices have been found to ensure all the microbes and fungus on something…

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Sterilizing

All About Autoclave Tape (Yeah, you Should Read it)

Indicator tape is a vital part of the sterilization process.  It is one of the many controls in place to make sure that all microorganisms are being effectively killed. Autoclave tape changes color ONLY when exposed to a certain temperature, usually 121 degrees Celcius.  There are usually stripes that change to a dark color along the roll.  It is an adhesive used to wrap sets of instruments or packages that are going to be sterilized and can withstand the pressure and temperature without being destroyed.. We also affix them to…

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Autoclaves Sterilizing

The Top 6 Electric Baby Bottle Sterilizers Compared (with Details)

The immune systems in small babies need time to adjust to their new environment.  They need help as they acclimate to their new world!   Many parents have been turning to bottle sterilizers for protection against dangerous microorganisms that can lead to nasty diseases. Electric bottle sterilizers use steam to kill these dangerous bugs.  Let’s keep that baby vomit and diarrhea to a minimum, people! That’s why there are a huge amount of bottle sterilizers on the market.  For the first decision, you have a choice between an electric machine…

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Sterilizing

What Gas Plasma Sterilization is, and How it Works.

Gas plasma sterilization is a low temperature and low pressure alternative to sterilizing with autoclaves (steam sterilization).  It’s really simple and cool.  The ingredients are only hydrogen peroxide and electricity in the machine. In sterile processing departments, hydrogen peroxide plasma is used to sterilize flexible endoscopes and cameras mainly. Sterrad by ASP and Thierry systems are the main plasma sterilization technologies in the market.  These machines are expensive, but necessary to protect fragile gear. I’ve seen quite a few questions about plasma being used for sterilization.  It is a simple and fascinating…

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Sterilizing

What Does “Autoclavable” Mean? Is Your Item Safe to Autoclave?

An item is autoclavable when it can handle the temperature, pressure, and steam within an autoclave.  There are a lot of materials made specially for this purpose.  Mainly these are instruments made of metal or special plastics. I can think of some items and materials to question before throwing in the autoclave.  Plastic and rubber items need to be researched for sure.  You can search for images about “melted in an autoclave” for a fun lesson. Certain glasses cannot handle the autoclave environment, either.  These are the most dangerous materials, of…

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Sterilizing

What Does it Mean to Autoclave Something? (Answered)

When you autoclave something, this means the same as sterilizing it with steam under pressure.  The following blurb is a summary from the standard: ISO 17665 “Steam Sterilization for Medical Devices”. Items must be exposed to saturated steam at high temperature, from 121°C to 134°C.  Depending on the heat and instrument load, sterilization can be done between 3 and 20 minutes.  The items must be thoroughly dried to avoid contamination after the autoclave cycle. The combo of steam, temperature and pressure has been shown to be the most effective route…

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