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Sterilizer Safety Manual

Sterilizer Safety Manual:

It is one of the most reliable methods available in the laboratory for inactivating all forms of microbial life that use sterilizer saturated steam under pressure. Before operation, all biohazard materials and articles contaminated with potential infectious agents should be decontaminated to ensure safety and quality control. These items include culture media, surgical instruments, laboratory equipment, glassware, and biomedical waste, also including sharp objects. It is not recommend for steam sterilization of anhydrous substances, flammable materials, electrical equipment, radioactive substances, or any items. Huanyu provides the sterilizer safety manual to ensure the safety and reliability of the disinfection process.

Sterilizer Operation Parameters:

Sterilization cycle parameters depend upon the quantity and type of the materials. Density items will take longer time than less dense items of the same weight. It will vary for specific operation procedures of each sterilizer model and sterilization items.

The sterilization items of each sterilizer should be recorded in the sterilizer log. The sterilizer log should include sterilization item type (medium, waste, animal necessities, etc.), quantity, running program, date, time and operator’s name. Keep charts or printouts in the log as documentation for sterilizer operations.

General Safety Procedures:

They must be autoclaved before all potentially infectious materials are washed, stored or disposed of as biomedical waste. Personnel operating the sterilizer must be trained on proper packaging, loading, labelling and operating and emergency procedures. This training should also be documented by the principal investigator in charge of the laboratory. The sterilizer will produce high heat and high pressure. Therefore, all users must understand and respect the related risks. After the sterilization cycle is complete, let the autoclave cool before opening it. Then stand up and slowly open the door to allow excess steam to escape.

Remind the user that warning signs of these high temperature surfaces should be placed next to the sterilizer to alert staff to this danger. Do not pile or store combustible materials, such as cardboard or plastic containers, or flammable liquids next to the sterilizer.

How does the Steam Sterilizer Works ?

The most common steam sterilizer in the laboratory is the gravity displacement type. Saturated steam enters the top of the chamber through a steam pressure control valve. When steam enters, it pushes air out through a drain valve in the drain pipe. After all air has been emptied the drain valve will close. Steam continues to fill the autoclave chamber until the preset temperature and pressure is reached.

Sterilization process including three stages: Heating time, contact time and cooling time of the sterilizer. Once the temperature has reached balance. It will need at least 20 minutes about all surfaces to be sterilized of exposure time to ensure complete biological inactivation. In general, the heating period of the sterilization process is the time that the autoclave chamber is heated to a specified temperature. Therefore, the running time must be long enough to balance the package at 121℃ and still allow the sterilization items to be exposed for 20 minutes. It will take even longer time to sterilize liquid.

Packing and Loading Precautions:

All biomedical waste need to be autoclaved must first be placed in an approved and labeled autoclave bag. About 50 ml to 100 ml of water should be placed in the autoclave bag to facilitate the generation of steam in the bag before sterilization.If this water occurs naturally in the sterilization items, there is no need to add additional water in the autoclave bag.Autoclave bags should be wrapped to prevent spillage; However, if the tape is wrapped too tightly, steam pressure can build up inside the bag and cause it to break.Autoclave bags are designed to permeable steam, but a double bag will prevent steam from flowing through the bag. Do not fill the bag or autoclave because it may interfere with the sterilization process and affect the sterilization effect if the steam flow is poor. It is best not to put the autoclave bag directly into the sterilizer. They should be put on stainless steel or polypropylene trays for sterilization.

Sterilizer Safety Manual

Sterilizer Safety Manual

When autoclaving liquids items, do not contain more than 75% of the volume of the container.This will ensure that the fluid has space to expand as it is heated. It is important to place loose glassware and liquid containers in auxiliary containers during autoclaving . When removing liquids from the sterilizer,it is important to wear thick heat-resistant gloves, splash-proof goggles, and a rubber apron.The autoclave exhaust cycle must be set very slowly for liquid items.This gives the liquid time to cool below 100°C, and the liquid does not boil during the pressure drops. When the operation is complete, open the door slowly and step back until the steam has cleared.

Most autoclaves have a safety interlock system that prevents the autoclaves from working if the door is not closed properly. If steam leaks around the door during sterilization, the door is not properly sealed. In this case, shut down the system as safely as possible. Let the device cool down and then reset the door. Take special care to make sure the door is tightly sealed before you restart the operation. If this problem persists, the equipment will need to be repaired by a qualified technician.

Biomedical waste must be marked with a common biohazard label. And Their should be sterilized before the end of each working day if possible. Do not leave unsterilized materials in the chamber or in the sterilizer overnight. Do not autoclave materials containing toxic agents, volatile chemicals, or radionuclides. It is necessary to contact EHS if need to sterilize such materials.

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