Surgical sterilization methods in hospitals – How to ensure the safe and effective sterilization of surgical instruments
In the medical field, ensuring the sterilization of surgical instruments is of the utmost importance. Not only does it protect patients from the spread of infections, but it also ensures that these tools are safe to use and reuse.
In Celitron’s next article, we will explore the different surgical sterilization methods used in hospitals and dive deep into why Celitron's Azteca A large steam sterilizer is a reliable and efficient solution for sterilizing medical equipment.
About the importance of surgical instrument sterilization in hospitals
Surgical instruments are used in a wide range of medical procedures in hospitals, from simple surgeries to complex operations. These instruments come into contact with patients and are exposed to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Consequently, if they are not properly sterilized, these instruments can pose a significant risk of infection to both your patients and your healthcare workers.
Proper sterilization of surgical instruments is essential to prevent such risks. In addition to being a legal requirement punishable by high fines, it is also a moral and ethical responsibility.
Comparison of surgical instrument sterilization methods in hospitals
Each sterilization method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best method for a hospital will depend on the specific surgical instruments and procedures being used.
Here’s a rundown of the most notable methods:
Steam sterilization is widely considered to be the most effective method for sterilizing surgical instruments in hospitals. It is accomplished with on-site machines known as steam sterilizers, also known as autoclaves.
It uses high-pressure and high-temperature steam (usually ranging between 121 and 134 degrees Celsius) to kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. It is a highly reliable method that can be used to sterilize a wide range of instruments, including those that are heat-sensitive. It's also considered safe, especially with the extra safety procedures incorporated in modern autoclaves.
It is also cost-effective in the long run thanks to steam sterilizers equipped with advanced energy-saving systems, which also make it a sustainable solution with minimal impact on the environment.
Chemical sterilization uses chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, and glutaraldehyde to kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. While this method is effective, it can be harmful to both patients and healthcare workers if not used properly. Additionally, some instruments may not be compatible with certain chemicals. It's also considered less cost-effective compared to modern autoclaves as it requires the use of expensive chemicals.
Gas sterilization uses gases such as ethylene oxide to kill foreign materials on surgical instruments. This method can also be effective in hospitals but can still pose risks to staff and patients if you’re not careful. Furthermore, not all medical instruments are compatible with the gases used. The use of expensive gases also makes it less cost-effective than steam sterilization.
Dry Heat Sterilization
Dry heat sterilization also uses high temperatures, but usually requires higher energy consumption compared to steam sterilization.
No matter the method you choose to use, Celitron suggests that you should always consult the manufacturer's instructions for use for the specific instruments you will be sterilizing and consult with infection control experts to determine the best method for your facility. You can also CONTACT CELITRON’S EXPERT TEAM to help you determine which solution would best suit your healthcare facility.
Why the steam sterilization of surgical instruments is a good choice for hospitals
Steam sterilization is an effective method of sterilizing surgical instruments in hospitals. It has several benefits, including:
- High effectiveness: Steam sterilization is highly effective in killing even heat-resistant bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
- Versatility: Steam sterilization can be used to sterilize a wide range of medical instruments, especially if you use class B models like Celitron’s Azteca A large steam sterilizer. Class B models are also known as “pre-vacuum” autoclaves and represent the most advanced category of steam sterilizers available on the market.
- Safety: Steam sterilization does not use chemicals or gases, making it safer for both patients and healthcare workers.
- Cost-effective: No need for expensive chemicals or gases.
Regulations and guidelines for surgical instrument sterilization in hospitals
Hospitals are required to comply with a variety of regulations and guidelines related to sterilizing surgical instruments. Some of the most relevant regulations for sterilization are the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities.
The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requires employers to implement a comprehensive exposure control plan that includes procedures for cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing instruments. The CDC Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities provide detailed recommendations for infection control in healthcare facilities, including guidelines for sterilization and disinfection.
Why are Celitron's large autoclaves a reliable and efficient solution for sterilizing surgical instruments in hospitals?
Celitron's Azteca A is a large steam sterilizer that is designed for use in hospitals. It has several features that make it an ideal solution for sterilizing surgical instruments, including:
- High efficiency: The Azteca A has a high-efficiency sterilization cycle that ensures that instruments are thoroughly sterilized. With the use of a powerful vacuum pump, it creates the ideal air-free environment to sterilize porous items, wrapped and unwrapped instruments, and textile-based items as well.
- Large capacity: The Azteca A has a large capacity ranging between 110 and 880 liters which makes it an ideal solution for busy hospitals.
- Easy to use: The Azteca A is easy to use and operate, making it suitable for use by healthcare workers with varying levels of experience. The whole steam sterilization process, including the opening and closing of the chamber’s door, is completely automated and can be launched with the push of a button.
- Cost-effective: The Azteca A is a cost-effective solution for sterilizing surgical instruments thanks to advanced water and energy-saving systems. It also has low maintenance costs, and a long lifespan further helped by its sturdy stainless-steel chamber.
Last but not least, Celitron's Azteca A large steam sterilizer is designed to meet the regulations and guidelines for sterilization in hospitals, such as the previously mentioned OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the CDC Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities.
You can always find the specifications of our solution for the sterilization of surgical instruments in hospitals on our website.
If you have any other questions about the implementation and use of Celitron’s Azteca A large steam sterilization, don’t hesitate to CONTACT US!