Why Sterilization Monitoring is Important
In any practice setting, proper reprocessing of reusable dental equipment is essential for patient safety. This process must be closely monitored to ensure that certain parameters are maintained during the sterilization process and to directly question the sterilizer’s ability to kill spores. To carry out these duties that have such a high influence on patient safety, dental team members must be adequately trained and have a clear awareness of the methods and reasons. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has forced considerable modifications in dental practice so far, measures like sterilization monitoring remain a consistent and vital quality assurance process.
Sterilization methods should be monitored using a combination of mechanical, chemical, and biological approaches to assess the sterilizing conditions and effectiveness of the procedure. Mechanical indicators, chemical indicators, and biological indicators are all used to monitor sterilizing procedures. The three forms of sterilization monitoring all play a key part in the practice’s quality assurance approach.
Mechanical indications include evaluating time, temperature, and pressure, all of which contribute to the sterilization process. The majority of these indicators can be found on monitors or other output devices like printers.
Internal and external chemical indicators use sensitive compounds to assess physical parameters throughout the sterilization process, such as temperature. It’s important to remember that chemical indicators like heat-sensitive tape or sterilization pouches are only used as class 1 or process indicators to distinguish between processed and unprocessed batches.
At the beginning of the test cycle, Class 2 indicators such as Bowie-Dick tests must be employed daily. Class 6 indicators are recommended since they are the only type capable of monitoring complete sterilization and providing a sterility assurance level (SAL) of 10-18.
Biological Indicators are vials of Geobacillus or Bacillus species that are placed with specific types of Autoclave loads (e.g. implants) and then incubated to guarantee that any potential infections have been killed and that sterility has been assured. Each autoclave must be examined with a biological indicator at least once a week, according to Oman Ministry of Health requirements.
Alfarsi Medical Supplies can assist you with Sterilization Monitoring. Our partnerships in Sterilization Monitoring include Sterlab, Francethat manufactures chemical indicators (Steripoint), and Terragene, Argentina, which offers the full range of biological indicators and incubators including the ultra-rapid version that provides results within just 20 minutes. Visit our website or contact us for more information.