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Methods of Autoclave Sterilization Monitoring

March 28th, 2020 in Autoclave Basics and Operation
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Autoclave sterilization is a useful component of an infection control process as it allows for sterilization of instruments and materials in environments that require it.

The universal principle of sterilization is that if you can sterilize, then sterilizing is better than disinfecting.

Autoclave sterilization monitoring ensures that all microbial organisms are killed.

In this article, we will outline the different basic types of autoclave sterilization monitoring.

The impact and effective performance of autoclave sterilization are based on one or more of these three types of monitoring. These are mechanical or physical, biological and chemical. Usually at least two of the following tests are used to determine the efficiency of an autoclave.

1. Mechanical or physical autoclave sterilization monitoring

Mechanical monitoring means using hardware or tools that are used to check the time cycle, pressure, and temperature.

This hardware examines the printout sterilizers and by studying the displays or the gauges it can be determined if the autoclave is working properly.

2. Chemical autoclave sterilization monitoring

These indicators are sensitive to heat in a chemical way.

Chemical indicators respond to changes such as temperature, processing time, or presence of the steam. Chemical autoclave sterilization monitoring is just another way to ensure the autoclave is working properly and reaching the correct temperature or amount of steam produced.

3. Biological autoclave sterilization monitoring

Biological autoclave sterilization operate with the use of two identical vials from the same lot.

The first vial is used following normal sterilization protocols. The second one is used as a control and stands aside, and is not used in the process of sterilization.

When the two different vials are tested, they give a clear answer to how well the autoclave is working. 

If you are having difficulty with your sterilization monitoring, definitely contact us. This is our business.

Alpha Scientific supplies, installs, and services medical equipment in western Canada. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about medical equipment, please call our toll-free number, (888) 818-4847, or email us at sales@alphascientific.ca.