The pharmaceutical industry is using different chambers to meet unique testing requirements efficiently. There is a walk-in stability chamber, humidity chamber, dry heat chamber, high-pressure chamber, and many more to perform a distinct range of testing of equipment, devices, biological materials, and industrial materials. The industry experts conduct various sterilizing methods to make medical equipment and devices hygienically clean. Sterilizing equipment is a critical process used by modern health care facilities where patients use to come in contact with medical equipment like syringes every other day.
Medical practitioners and the environment must use medical equipment under safe guidelines- and follow the right methods of cleaning and sterilizing for the medical safety of patients. Proper cleaning of medical pieces of equipment and devices is important to avoid the spreading of disease from patient to patient.
Here we are talking about the methods to sterilize medical equipment and their benefits. We will also tell which accessories can be used to perform the sterilization process.
Benefits of sterilizing medical devices
In hospitals and clinics, practitioners maintain hygiene well due to invasive procedures. Such procedures involve contacting mucous membranes or sterile tissue of the patient with a surgical device or medical equipment. Such risks may introduce pathogenic microbes, and result in infection. The risk of infection gets higher when the medical equipment or devices used in the procedure doesn’t properly disinfect or sterilized.
Hence, it is equally important to sterilize medical pieces of equipment and devices as giving health care services to the patients. It should be performed for the welfare of both the health care team and patients. By killing the germs, the risk of spreading infection gets lower.
There are few pros of sterilizing medical equipment
- All the blood, pus, foreign particles and dirt left on the surface during the treatment of a patient get removed with sterilization. If this left untreated, it could result in hazardous complications for the next patient in the queue.
- It lowers bio-burden – sterilization method helps in killing the micro bacteria living on a surface of medical equipment.
- Most medical tools are made of delicate pivots and hinges. With the right sterilizing method, you can extend the life of these tools.
- It left no ground for breeding of the surviving germs.
- It ensures safe transferring of equipment to the packaging and assembling department.
Sterilization and disinfection are the two different processes that must be used in a certain way to ensure the safe use of invasive and non-invasive medical devices.
For instance, HIAs (Healthcare-Associated Infections) that makes patients infected during their stay in the hospital. Surgical instruments, contaminated equipment or poor hygiene maintenance at the hospital can cause HIAs. To prevent such infections from spreading, all hospitals must be getting ready for attack. The strategy used in a hospital to kill germs involves few steps that should be achieved in a precise manner-
- Cleaning – Cleaning is the first and initial step to sterilization. For extreme level disinfection or sterilization, hospitals should clean their equipment and devices.
- Disinfecting – The next step comes after cleaning is disinfection. It is done with the use of some liquid chemical products which remove all non-spore forming bacteria from the surface of the medical equipment.
- Sterilizing – There are proper infrastructure and methods where sterilizing techniques are performed by experts.
The level of disinfection and sterilization depends on how practitioners intend to use the objects. There are basically three categories in which level of sterilization comes-
– Critical objects – The surgical equipment that comes in contact with sterile tissue requires high-level disinfection.
– Semicritical objects – take an instance of endoscopes that contacts mucous membranes. Such equipment requires medium-level disinfection.
– Noncritical objects – for instance, stethoscopes that only touch the intact skin of the patient. These equipments require low-level disinfection.
Which methods are used by healthcare to sterilise medical equipment?
It is important to pick the best sterilization method for any medical equipment. If any method wrongly picked or insufficiently used can result in rejection of the medical equipment from the FDA and other regulatory bodies. It may result in worse by transmitting infectious diseases which can lead to patient death or make them sick.
There are some methods used at healthcare to sterilize medical equipment –
– Steam Sterilization – Moist chambers are used for performing steam sterilization for medical devices.
– Dry heat sterilization – There are multiple options under dry heat method – microwave, hot air ovens to name a few. Dry heat method is used where steam or moist sterilization cannot be performed. It is a strong technique done at high temperatures for a longer time.
– Chemical sterilization – There are chemically prepared solutions used for killing microorganisms from medical equipment. A few chemicals are ozone, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, ethylene oxide.
The lab facilities are using walk in stability chamber for sample storage. These chambers are used to detect the effects of the pre-specified environment on industrial materials, biological materials, and electronic components. Labs are applying these chambers to detect humidity and temperature ranges.