No longer do traditional sterilization methods cut it for the elimination of pathogens. Plasma sterilization on the other hand can destroy stubborn bacteria and completely rid medical instruments of germs. Compared with traditional processes, plasma sterilization is faster and it is more energy saving.
Proper sterilization of surgical instruments and equipment for patient care and surgery is a critical aspect. Plasma sterilization is a new technique for sterilizing certain products without the disadvantages you get with gas sterilization methods.
see also: What is plasma sterilizer?
Plasma sterilization is an alternative to steam sterilization for sterilizing those easily corroded products used in surgery such as clamps, implants, holding instruments, cutting instruments, hemostatic forceps, retractors and others. All these instruments as well as other equipment used in surgery must be sterilized because of the bacteria trapped inside the instruments from being used on other patients.
Before surgery the instruments that require sterilization are wrapped to assist with handling. Instruments prepared for sterilization must be wrapped or packaged in such a way that their sterility can be maintained. The materials used for packaging must allow the Sterilant to contact the device during the sterilization process but also to protect the device from contamination during handling.
Temperature Sensitive Instruments can be Sterilized
Gas plasma sterilization was developed as an alternative to ethylene oxide and is suitable for temperature-sensitive instruments as it can sterilize at lower temperatures. It isn’t however recommended for items with long tubes as gas penetration can be an issue. The use of gas plasma sterilization is dependent on access to the items being sterilized, and porous materials are also not suited for this method of sterilization as they absorb the hydrogen peroxide before being generated into the active plasma form.
Plasma sterilization offers time-saving advantages for the full range of medical instruments –see some of the sensitive items listed below:
- Reusable devices that come into contact with mucous membranes should receive high-level sterilization. These devices include the likes of reusable anesthesia breathing circuits, flexible endoscopes as well as respiratory therapy equipment.
- Laparoscopic or arthroscopic telescopes on the other hand don’t require disinfection, but need to be sterilized before use every time. Instruments that require sterilization must always first be thoroughly cleaned to reduce organic material such as body fluids.
Time-Saving Plasma Sterilization
Time is life in the medical industry. Reliable sterilization depends on contact of the sterilizing agent with all areas of the item to be sterilized and quickly and effectively too. Selection of the type of sterilization method will always depend on the nature of the item to be sterilized. If you have any doubts or queries about sterilizing a medical device, you can always contact the manufacturer of the product. There are different techniques towards medical device sterilization based on the energy source and microorganism destruction method required. Knowing the right sterilization method for a particular medical device requires careful consideration because the incorrect method can be catastrophic.
Contact the MoonMed Team for any Sterilization questions you may have!!