With the growing number of surgical instruments with cavities, e.g. narrow channels, it is important that steam penetration in surgical instruments is sufficient to ensure sterilization conditions on inner surfaces in every process. Recent literature demonstrates that measuring only temperature and pressure is insufficient to ensure these conditions. Using an Electronic Test System (ETS model 4108 3M™) the steam penetration capacities of the steam sterilization processes in the Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) of the Heilig Hart Ziekenhuis in Leuven (Belgium) were monitored from April 2009 to June 2015 with a daily steam penetration test, as required in the standard ISO 17665 part 1. In the period from January 2015 to June 2015 a steam penetration was performed additionally in every load. The ETS was chosen as steam penetration test because it can be used in every process, regardless the duration of the plateau period. Apart from this, it was the only commercially available steam penetration test that quantities steam penetration, making quantitative analyses of the acquired data possible. The results demonstrate a wide range in steam penetration between the individual processes when every load monitoring is performed. In some cases (approximately 1%) sterilization conditions are even jeopardizing because the large amount of None Condensable Gases (NCGs) prevented saturated steam sterilization conditions. Combined with the possibility to reduce operational costs, monitoring the steam penetration in every process of these CSSD sterilizers indicates the necessity of Every Load Monitoring of steam sterilization processes.
|Translated title of the contribution||A case study of steam penetration monitoring indicates the necessity of Every Load Monitoring of steam sterilization processes|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Zentralsterilisation : Central Service|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|