Have you ever given any thought to the devices that hospitals use to treat people? Your average person probably only cares that the equipment is clean.
Medical workers and manufacturers often think about medical device sterilization.
Proper care of medical equipment keeps people safe. It also protects the device. Read on to learn more about why sterilization is important.
Importance of Medical Device Sterilization
Medical devices need sterilization for patient safety. Sterilization is the process by which microbes, including harmful pathogens, get destroyed.
Hospitals and doctors’ offices are places where disease can spread. If a device is exposed to a pathogen, cleaning stops another person from getting infected.
Proper cleaning also ensures that the users of the devices are safe. When a device is sterilized, anything that a patient may have does not get transferred to a caregiver.
Additionally, proper cleaning of equipment helps extend the life of the device. It helps prevent corrosion on tools that get reused. It makes sure that you don’t use a technique that could damage the item.
Manufacturing and Sterilization
When manufacturers design medical devices, they need to think about how to clean them. Sometimes a certain procedure or facility needs customized medical equipment. When creating custom medical equipment, a manufacturer should keep cleaning in mind.
Medical equipment falls into three different categories. These are critical, semi-critical, and noncritical. The category that the device is in determines the method of cleaning.
Critical equipment gets used in invasive procedures. It may come into contact with sterile tissues. Thus it needs cleaning that removes microbes.
Semi-critical equipment comes into contact with mucous membranes. Thus, it needs a high level of disinfecting treatment.
Noncritical items only touch the skin. They only need a moderate disinfecting treatment.
Manufacturers should include instructions on the equipment. These instructions should include details describing how to sterilize things. Proper cleaning prevents damaging the device.
The manufacturer should also provide medical equipment sterilization tips. This will provide the user with effective and efficient care directions.
There are many methods that sterilize equipment. Steam sterilization is a common way to clean glass and metal equipment. In laboratories, this is known as autoclaving.
It is an effective way to kill microbial life, but it is not suitable for complex instruments.
Another method uses dry heat. It also kills microbial life but does not use steam. It also takes longer than steam sterilization.
Chemical sterilization uses bleach, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, or ethylene oxide to kill microbes. The item gets submerged in the chemical to clean it. Chemicals should not be used for biological materials or sensitive devices.
Other types of sterilization include plasma gas and vaporized hydrogen peroxide. These options both use vapor to sterilize equipment.
Ensure Proper Sterilization
Medical device sterilization is critical to patient safety and equipment life. If you’re in need of custom medical devices, contact a manufacturer today. Make sure they design products with sterilization needs in mind.
Check out our health section for more articles about healthcare and prevention.