The basic principle of steam sterilization is to expose each object to direct steam at the required temperature and pressure for the specified period of time.
What Are The Advantages Of Steam Sterilization Compared To Other Methods?
Steam sterilization has many benefits as a sterilization method in healthcare facilities, including low cost, safety and effectiveness. While heat and moisture resistant materials are processed, the speed and productivity of a steam sterilizer are more advantageous than other types of sterilization. Steam sterilization is considered a reliable and consistent method of sterilization in healthcare facilities.
What Are The Usage Areas Of Steam Sterilization?
It is applied in surgical instruments, implantable medical devices and surgical clothing.
Steam sterilization has four parameters:
Ideal condition for sterilization is that the steam is dry and saturated and also fluidity (dryness rate ≥ 97%).
Pressure helps us as a means of getting high temperatures necessary to kill microorganisms quickly.Temperatures in certain parameters must be obtained to ensure microbicidal activity. The two common steam sterilization temperatures are 121 ° C (250 ° F) and 132 ° C (270 ° F). These temperatures (and other high temperatures) should be maintained for a minimum period of time to kill microorganisms.
Sterilization Department personnel should always follow the usage instructions of the device manufacturer during the sterilization process.
STEAM STERILIZATION PROCESS
Steam sterilization occurs when products to be sterilized are exposed under pressure with saturated steam. Steam reduces the time and temperature required to denature or coagulate proteins in microorganisms, increasing the ability of heat to kill microorganisms.
Steam sterilization cycles usually have three stages, including conditioning, exposure, and drying.
Conditioning occurs at the beginning of the cycle. By gravity displacement or dynamic air extraction methods, air is removed from the chamber and the load is heated to the recommended sterilization temperature.
Exposure begins after the conditioning phase, when the load and compartment reach the temperature required for sterilization. Items in load are exposed to steam at a certain temperature over a certain period of time. Exposure times and temperatures should be adjusted in accordance with the device manufacturer's recommendations, applicable standards and guidelines.
Drying is the final step in the sterilization cycle in which the steam is removed from the chamber and the pressure inside the chamber is released. It is also known as the cooling stage. At this stage, the steam is drawn with a vacuum to help dry the load.
Ensuring that the steam sterilizer chamber reaches a certain temperature for the recommended time and remains constant at this temperature is vital for an effective steam sterilization.
Some commonly recommended temperatures for steam sterilization are 250 ° F (121 ° C), 270 ° F (132 ° C), and 275 ° F (135 ° C).Typical cycle time and recommended temperature are set by the steam sterilizer manufacturer and vary depending on the type of load being processed. Before processing a load, it is important to follow up the manufacturer's instructions in the autoclave's user manual.