The role of large autoclaves in the sterilization of hospital equipment

The role of large autoclaves in the sterilization of hospital equipment

Without autoclave sterilizers, it is almost certain that most hospitals couldn’t function as efficiently as they do today. They are easy to use, fast, cost-efficient, and highly customizable to the needs of medical facilities. Keep on reading to know more about their essential role in hospital equipment sterilization!

What exactly are autoclaves?

Also known as steam sterilizers, autoclaves are essentially machines with a closed chamber that is used in the sterilization of hospital equipment, and allow staff to reuse surgical tools such as scalpels or clamps. All this is achieved by applying heat, pressure, and steam within the closed vessel of the autoclave.

In some cases, they can even be used for hospital waste disposal, by destroying any harmful organisms on the surface of the load inside the steam sterilizer’s chamber, allowing them to be safely transported away for the final removal of the waste. Compared to incinerators, they are also much more compact, and can be easily integrated in the waste management system of medical facilities. The most modern models are also equipped with advanced energy and water-saving systems, making them much more environmentally friendly as well.

Steam sterilization: a step that hospitals should never skip

It should come as no surprise that the cleaning and disinfection of hospital equipment is an ever-present duty of the medical staff. However, without using steam sterilization, one can never be 100% sure that all bacteria and spores have indeed been destroyed, as some microorganisms are resistant to heat.

One of the main benefits of autoclaves is being able to surpass this resistance by reaching temperatures well over a 100 degrees Celsius! This also helps quicken the process, as (depending on the quantity of tools inside the chamber) an autoclave can finish its sterilization cycle even in about 20 minutes!

Large capacity autoclave machines for large hospitals

Among all medical facilities, hospitals can face the biggest of challenges when it comes to medical equipment sterilization: since they have to handle a huge amount of patients, they also make use of a large amount of tools each day. This is why the biggest facilities have to be especially careful when choosing which steam sterilizer model to use.

Thankfully, autoclaves come in various sizes and are highly customizable, with many accessories available to facilitate the day to day duties of hospital staff. Large autoclaves are especially helpful for hospitals that need to be able to sterilize the biggest amount of equipment possible within one cycle. Depending on the manufacturer, they can start from a capacity of 110 liters, up to an amazing 12 STUs!

Apart from their size, their flexibility makes them a perfect fit for Central Sterile Service Departments (CSSD), and can even be used in pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications.

All in all, there are many, many reasons for hospitals to make use of autoclaves, and most state of the art facilities already do: they make life easier for patients and medical staff alike!

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.