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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:

  1. Productivity: How many trays can you process over a typical 8-hour shift?
  2. Device Compatibility: Are the devices in your inventory compatible with the sterilizer?
  3. Flexibility: Can the sterilizer support lean workflow through ease of use while improving your process?

Productivity

V-PRO sterilizers

Often referred to as throughput, productivity is a key factor to determine the best solution for your facility. Determining your caseload volume per shift is a good place to start. Beyond volume calculations, there are two key considerations when determining productivity needs:

  1. What items are you processing? Review your inventory to determine how many lumened devices, stainless steel devices, and accessories need to be processed on a typical day. Also, consider the weight of the devices and the number of loads per day.
  2. Turnover requirements. How fast do you need to turn over instruments?

For example, the V-PRO® maX 2 Low Temperature Sterilization System can process up to 50 lbs. in just 28 minutes.

Device Compatibility

Device manufacturers must provide written Instructions for Use (IFUs) for reprocessing their devices, including compatible methods of sterilization. The IFUs are the first place to look when evaluating compatibility but occasionally, you’ll come across an IFU that could leave you with some questions. Here are some tools to help answer these questions: 

What if my IFU says "STERRAD®*"?

Occasionally, a device IFU will expressly state “STERRAD.” However, this doesn't mean the device can’t go in a V-PRO Sterilizer. If the IFU recommends STERRAD, this is likely because that sterilizer was validated to reprocesses the device by the manufacturer. However, if the device falls within the claims in V-PRO’s indications for use, the V-PRO Sterilizer may be used for reprocessing. Customers are encouraged to reference the STERIS V-PRO Device Compatibility Matrix for a full list of compatible devices. The decision to process these devices with a V-PRO Sterilizer would be the type of informed decision recommended by AAMI ST81, pg. B. 

What if my IFU only says "VHP Sterilization"?

If a device manufacturer only states “vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization” as a compatible method, this designation would include V-PRO Low Temperature Sterilization Systems, vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization systems which use low pressure and low temperature sterilization cycles that are suitable for sterilizing medical devices sensitive to heat and moisture.

Confirm your medical devices and accessories are compatible with STERIS low temperature reprocessing solutions by using STERIS's Device Compatibility Matrix, which can help you make informed decisions about your device inventory. After confirming a specific device is compatible, STERIS provides a compatibility letter for your records. Search for your devices

Flexibility

It’s important to find a solution that can improve your current workflow. A review of packaging options for loads, the ability to process mixed loads, and the freedom to be flexible in your processes are important factors to consider. 

Packaging

Packaging, including pouches and trays, must be validated for use in the specific sterilizer and cycle being run. The configuration and number of trays can allow you to process more devices at once – increasing throughput. For some technicians, pouching is easier (and faster) than wrapping trays so consider selecting a sterilizer and accessories, such as the PRO-LITE™ Sterilization Trays, which are validated to allow pouching trays for faster packaging.

Mixed Load Capabilities

V-PRO s2 Flexible Cycle - Mixed Load

Mixed load capabilities, shown in the image to the right, allow you to maximize the throughput of your sterilizer. Imagine a situation where you quickly needed to process a single-channel scope, which takes up one shelf. On a cycle validated for mixed loads, such as the flexible cycle of the V-PRO s2 Low Temperature Sterilizer, you could efficiently run this scope and two batteries in the same load – saving time and maximizing throughput. 

VHP Sterilization for Quick-Turn Requests

Many facilities are reducing the amount of Immediate Use Steam Sterilization (IUSS) occurrences which can result in increased reprocessing needs for the Sterile Processing Department. Quick-turn requests can interrupt processing and typically cause a sterilizer to be run without being fully loaded. When evaluating your options for VHP sterilizers, consider that the V-PRO s2 Sterilizer offers a fast VHP cycle to quickly process loads in as little as 19 minutes. After following all critical steps in reprocessing, the load is approved for sterile storage with no cool-down needed.

Conclusion

It’s important to understand the difference between available systems and make informed decisions for your facility. Evaluating productivity, material compatibility, and flexibility will help you make the right decision for your department.

Explore V-PRO Low Temperature Sterilization Systems

 

*STERRAD® IS THE REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF Advanced Sterilization Products. 

 

◊ Please refer to the Operator Manual for detailed lumen dimension information and how to identify devices for loads.

 

 

 

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