Autoclave and Hospitals

April 11th, 2014 by Acmas Leave a reply »

For sterilizing and disinfecting the medical devices/equipments in hospitals/laboratories, the Autoclave is the preferred equipment. Autoclave uses moist heat (saturated stem under pressure) for sterilizing medical/hospital equipments and surgical instruments.

They are bit like giant pressure cookers that use the power of steam to kill off germs that would survive a simple washing with boiling water and detergents. In the past, harmful microorganisms were disinfected using a variety of materials including alcohol, boiling water and hydrogen peroxide. Although these materials do work, but they do not provide a safe line that every type of microorganism will be eliminated, as Autoclave steam does.

Autoclave chambers are mostly cylindrical because cylinders are better able to with stand extreme pressure than boxes whose edges become points of weakness that can break.

Time required for sterilization of surgical equipment(s) depends on a variety of factors that include the following too

  • Contamination level of the items being autoclaved (dirty items known to be more contaminated will take longer time to sterilize because they contain more microbes)
  • How the Autoclave is loaded up (if steam can circulate more freely, autoclaving will be quicker and more effective)

Hospitals use Autoclave as primary waste management technology. Steam sterilization is the preferred, cost effective non burn method of biohazard waste treatment. Autoclave helps in treating the infectious medical waste. Autoclaves are important medical strategies because they sterilize and dry surgical and other medical equipments.

Hospitals use a large Autoclave that looks similar to a dish washer. A Hospital Autoclave can process large numbers of surgical instrument in a single cycle. In Hospitals an Autoclave is also used for dressing, bedding, rubber gloves or any other material required to be free from bacterial and other similar contamination’s. Autoclaves are widely used in medical and dental clinics, surgery and operating rooms, veterinary clinics and Intensive Care Units.


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