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Sterile Processing

What if One Chemical Indicator Fails?

Everything was done as expected – the devices went through decontamination, completed a successful washer and thermal disinfection cycle, and were inspected, prepared and packaged successfully following all steps outlined in the instrument tracking software... Read More

Guide to VHP Low Temp Sterilization

Tasks performed prior to sterilization have a big influence on the success of a sterilization process. Key steps taken during decontamination, preparation and packaging of materials for vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) sterilization must be followed and it’s important to understand how these steps impact successful sterilization of... Read More

The Role of Chemical Indicators in Load Release

Chemical indicators (or CIs) are a necessary part of any healthcare facility's sterility assurance program. Since the introduction of the Bowie and Dick Test in 1969, the use of chemical indicators has expanded to cover a wide range of sterilization and high-level disinfection monitoring applications... Read More

Evaluating VHP Sterilizers for Your Facility

When considering options for vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) sterilizers, it’s important to understand the differences between available systems. There are three major areas to consider: Productivity, material compatibility, and flexibility. Often referred to as throughput,... Read More

Biological Indicators

What are Biological Indicators?

Biological indicators (BIs), as defined by ANSI/AAMI and ISO, are test systems containing viable microorganisms providing a defined resistance to a specific sterilization process. A biological indicator provides information on whether necessary conditions were met to kill...

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Bowie-Dick Tests and Troubleshooting Guide

Bowie-Dick (Air-Removal) tests evaluate the performance of prevacuum sterilizers by confirming adequate air removal from the sterilizer chamber. These air removal test have been improved over the years, but you may be wondering, are Bowie-Dick tests still relevant in sterilizers that have programed leak tests?

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How to Monitor Extended Steam Sterilization Cycles

Extended cycles are specific to steam sterilization where the exposure or dry times of a standard sterilizer cycle (i.e. 270°F for 4 minutes) have been adjusted. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines extended cycles as “any sterilization cycle that includes specifications that deviate from... Read More

Rapid-Read Biological Indicators

Rapid-read biological indicators (BIs) can improve productivity in the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) by keeping the process moving - especially when departments implement standardization and monitor every load. By enabling the release of the loads faster, a 20-minute rapid-read BI... Read More

What is a Chemical Indicator?

Chemical Indicators (CIs), as defined by AAMI and ISO, are devices used to monitor the presence or attainment of one or more of the parameters required for a satisfactory sterilization process or used in a specific test of sterilization equipment. For example, when placed inside packs, CIs are used to confirm that sterilant achieved good penetration in the items being sterilized. CIs are used as...

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Positive BI Troubleshooting Checklist

Wondering what to do after a failed biological indicator test? Learn what to do after a positive BI and steps to follow to troubleshoot any issues in this STERIS Knowledge Center article. Read More

The Cost of Not Monitoring Every Load

Learn why one facility switched to every load monitoring in both STEAM and VHP sterilizers. Discover how load recalls impact the Sterile Processing Department as well as operating rooms costs associated with any downtime. Read More

Everything About Autoclaves

What is an autoclave?

Autoclaves are also known as steam sterilizers, and are typically used for healthcare or industrial applications. An autoclave is a machine that uses steam under pressure to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores on items that are placed inside a pressure vessel. The items are heated to an appropriate sterilization temperature for a given amount of time. The moisture in the steam efficiently transfers heat...

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Guide to Steam Sterilization Cycles - Steam Flush Pressure Pulse

There are three types of steam sterilization cycles recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). They are gravity, prevacuum and steam flush pressure pulse (SFPP). These cycles differ in the way air is removed from the load during conditioning and may have different exposure times depending on the type of...

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Guide to Ultrasonic Cleaning

what is ultrasonic cleaning?

Sonication (or ultrasonic) technology uses mechanical vibrations (sound waves) in a liquid as a cleaning method in a process known as cavitation. Essentially, the generation of sound waves in the liquid produces bubbles that collapse (burst or implode) on contact with surfaces, which aids in the removal of...

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Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization

What is Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization?

Hydrogen peroxide sterilization is a low temperature sterilization process commonly used in the application of sterilizing medical devices, often used to sterilize heat-sensitive devices. A hydrogen peroxide sterilization cycle typically requires less time than alternative forms of sterilization, such as steam sterilization. A hydrogen peroxide sterilization process involves...

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Steam Sterilization for Medical Equipment

Benefits of Steam Sterilization

Steam sterilization has many benefits as a sterilization method in healthcare facilities including low cost, safety, and efficacy. When processing heat and moisture stable materials...

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What is Sterile Processing

sterile processing department

The Sterile Processing Department (SPD), also known as the Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD), is the area in a hospital where cleaning and sterilization of devices used in medical procedures takes place. The processes an instrument goes through....

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What is an Enzymatic Cleaner

An enzymatic cleaner is used in healthcare facilities to aid in the cleaning and decontamination of medical devices and other medical equipment and utensils. Enzymatic cleaners used in the Endoscopy and Sterile Processing Departments may be better known as enzymatic detergents, because they contain surfactants designed to...

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