Archive for the ‘Autoclaves’ category

Items for Autoclaving

May 16th, 2014

Autoclave uses moist heat sterilization for sterilizing and decontaminating the equipments. Autoclave sterilizes the equipments by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 degree C and 15 pounds of pressure per square inch depending for around 15-20 minutes on the size of the load and the contents.

As autoclave works by allowing steam to enter and maintaining extremely high pressure for at least 15 minutes therefore heat labile products cannot be sterilized using the autoclave such as plastics etc. Some materials present specific hazards when autoclaved such as production of toxic or noxious gases. There is a limit for the materials which can be autoclaved and which cannot. (As stated earlier heat labile articles cannot be autoclaved).

Articles that can be autoclaved are listed below;

  • Glass wares such as beakers, conical flasks glass rods and knifes.
  • Cultures and stocks of infectious material.
  • Culture dishes and related devices.
  • Culture media (Luria agar and Luria broth).
  • Discarded live and attenuated vaccines.
  • Contaminated solid items such as: Petri dishes, Eppendorf, pipette tips, pipettes, gloves, paper towel.

Articles that cannot be autoclaved are listed below;

  • Heat labile products
  • Sealed articles
  • Radioactive elements
  • Volatile articles
  • Chlorinated compounds
  • Corrosive chemicals
  • Articles contaminated with chemotherapeutic agents
  • Some plastics
  • Articles that can be denatured under the steam.

Autoclave Safe Practice for Body Piercing and Tattooing

April 12th, 2014

Autoclaves are the best means of sterilizing materials either before reuse or disposal. Autoclave uses moist heat for the sterilization of equipments by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C and 15 pounds of pressure per square inch depending for around 15–20 minutes on the size of the load and the contents.

This means that all bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores are destroyed. Autoclaves work by allowing steam to enter and maintaining extremely high pressure for at least 15 minutes. Heat labile products cannot be sterilized using the autoclave e.g. plastics. There are some risks which are involved in operating an autoclave and can be harmful for any personnel.

Some risks involved in operating Autoclave are

  • Heat burns: caused by hot materials, and the autoclave’s walls or door.
  • Steam burns: These are caused by the residual steam which escapes from the autoclave, and materials upon completion of the cycle.
  • Hot fluid scalds: Just as it sounds, this is caused from boiling liquids and spillage in the Autoclave.
  • Risk of explosion
  • Hand, and arm injuries while closing the door.

Nowadays, it is recommended to use an autoclave at the body piercing shop and body tattoo shops too. All the equipments used for the piercing and tattooing should be autoclaved/sterilized before reuse because unsafe skin penetrations have the potential to spread deadly viruses such as hepatitis.

The main issues in making these activities safe for the operator/owner and the customer/client are:

  • clean premises
  • good operator hygiene
  • avoiding contamination of instruments and materials
  • using correct cleaning, disinfection and sterilization methods
  • Safe sharps disposal.

Some important points for reducing the risk of infection while doing body piercing or tattooing

  • Tattooing and piercing equipments should be sterilized using moist heat sterilization (Autoclave).
  • All the surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned after and before doing piercing and tattooing.
  • Sterilize equipments should never come into contact of used equipments or unsterilized equipments, this can be harmful.
  • Sterile equipments should be handled using sterile forceps.
  • Skin must be swabbed with chlorhexidine or 70% alcohol and allowed to dry for at least 60 seconds before penetration and for the penetration only sterilized equipments should be used as stated earlier.
  • If the area needs to be shaved a disposable or sterilized razor should be used.
  • If bleeding occurs, the client/customer should be asked to apply gentle pressure with a clean dressing and the area disinfected with an antiseptic such as Povidone

For More Information Visit –

Autoclave and Hospitals

April 11th, 2014

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.