Data Loggers for Autoclave Validation
The SL55T is an easy to use quick response logger, specifically designed for the rapid validation of top bench autoclaves. The SL55T securely records temperature data to create an inviolate electronic record and it’s built in battery can hold up to 8,000 temperature points.
What is an autoclave?
An autoclave is used in medical and dental environments to sterilise surgical equipment, laboratory instruments and pharmaceutical items to name a few. It is used regularly throughout the day as all single use instruments must be sterilized every time they are used.
What temperatures must an autoclave cycle reach to be effective?
To be effective, the autoclave must reach and maintain a temperature of 121° C for at least 30 minutes or 132°C for about 20 minutes, by using saturated steam under at least 15 psi of pressure. Increased cycle time may be necessary depending upon the make-up and volume of the load being sterilised.
Why does the temperature need to reach 121°C?
An autoclave works similarly to a pressure cooker, in that it uses the power of steam to kill bacteria, spores and germs resistant to boiling water and powerful detergents. If the temperature only reached 100°C or boiling point, it is not sufficient for the sterilisation process as bacterial spores and micro organisms can survive this temperature. It is important that all forms of life on an objects surface such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and spores are destroyed in the process to prevent contamination.
How to ensure the autoclave is effective and prolong its life?
To ensure the autoclave is effective and to prolong its life, regular checks should be carried out, this involves the Bowie Dick test – this test demonstrates that the ‘air has been adequately removed’ from a pre-vacuum autoclave, which can act as a barrier preventing steam from penetrating the load, thus rendering the load unsterile. The autoclave chamber should not be overloaded, as again pockets may form which do not allow steam penetration.
Why is autoclave validation important?
Autoclave validation is mandatory for all machines used for biological sterilization in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries within the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration), WHO (the World Health Organisation) & European Union controlled areas.
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