According to Celitron, steam autoclaves are present in all parts of the world, including the Middle East, Latin and North America, and Europe. The reason behind this popularity can be traced back to many different reasons, such as effectiveness, speed, as well as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective operation.
Read on to find out more about the role of steam autoclaves in the medical industry!
How do steam autoclaves sterilize hospital equipment?
As their name indicates, these special, pressure cooker-like machines use steam to sterilize hospital equipment. Usually known as the “steam sterilization process”, autoclaves will begin by sucking out all the air from inside their chamber to create a vacuum and gradually increase the pressure within. This not only helps the steam penetrate the load inside the autoclave much more effectively, it also raises the boiling point of water/steam. This allows autoclave to use temperatures ranging between 121 and 134 degrees Celsius!
With the combination of high-pressure and high-temperature steam, a modern B class autoclave (the most advanced category of steam sterilizer available on the market right now) can kill any and all kind of bacteria present on the hospital tools inside its chambers: even those that would be able to resist temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius.
What are the benefits of steam autoclaves compared to other sterilization methods?
There are many benefits of using a steam autoclave, even apart from the highly effective results of the steam sterilization process. These include:
- Speed: a B class steam sterilizer can finish the sterilization process in as fast as 20 minutes.
- Ease of use: modern steam autoclaves operate completely automatically, and only require the push of a few buttons from the medical staff.
- Safety: some autoclaves are equipped with extra safety features to prevent unnecessary incident. Since these machines use steam that is well over 100 degrees Celsius, they will prevent staff from opening their doors until pressure and temperature levels are not back to normal.
- Cost-effectiveness and green operation: with advanced water and energy saving systems, steam autoclaves not only reduce the burden on the environment, but also allow medical facilities to operate in a profitable manner.
- Reusing medical tools: while incinerators only serve to destroy medical waste, steam autoclaves enable the safe reuse of surgical and other tools, without having to worry about the spread of infections.
What kind of steam autoclave should a hospital get?
As previously mentioned in this article, B class steam autoclaves represent the most state-of-the-art category of these medical machines. The main difference between these and other categories of steam sterilizers mainly lies in what kind of loads they can treat: B class autoclaves are a lot more multifunctional in this regard, since they can treat even the most complex loads, including textile items and porous loads. Not to mention they are faster, which allows staff to work more efficiently.
Of course, a hospital should also take special care in choosing a steam autoclave with enough capacity to handle the amount of equipment it needs to be sterilized on a regular basis. The capacity of the chamber of large steam sterilizers can range between 110 liters all the way to 880 liters!