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sterilization
 

Sterilization  refers to any process that effectively kills or eliminates transmissible agents (such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, etc.) from a surface, equipment. Sterilization can be achieved through application of heat, chemicals, irradiation, high pressure or filtration.

 
Medicine and surgery:

 

In general, surgical instruments and medications that enter an already sterile part of the body (such as the blood, or beneath the skin) must have a high sterility assurance level. Examples of such instruments include scalpels, hypodermic needles . Heat sterilization of medical instruments is known to have been used in Ancient Rome, but it mostly disappeared throughout the Middle Ages resulting in significant increases in disability and death following surgical procedures.


Compare sterilisation to sanitization which reduces the number of viable organisms to an acceptable level. An example of the latter is Pasteurization.

Heat sterilization

Steam sterilization utensils

A widely-used method for heat sterilization is the autoclave, sometimes called a converter. Autoclaves commonly use steam heated to 121–134 °C (250–273 °F). To achieve sterility, a holding time of at least 15 minutes at 121 °C (250 °F) or 3 minutes at 134 °C (273 °F) is required. Additional sterilizing time is usually required for liquids and instruments packed in layers of cloth, as they may take longer to reach the required temperature. Following sterilization, liquids in a pressurized autoclave must be cooled slowly to avoid boiling over when the pressure is released. Modern autoclaves operate around this problem by gradually depressing the sterilization chamber and allowing liquids to evaporate under a negative pressure, while cooling the contents.
Proper autoclave treatment will inactivate all fungi, bacteria, viruses and also bacterial spores, which can be quite resistant.
To ensure the autoclaving process was able to cause sterilization, most autoclaves have meters and charts that record or display pertinent information such as temperature and pressure as a function of time. Indicator tape is often placed on packages of products prior to autoclaving. A chemical in the tape will change color when the appropriate conditions have been met. Some types of packaging have built-in indicators on them.

 

 

Biological indicators ("bioindicators") can also be used to independently confirm autoclave performance. Simple bioindicator devices are commercially available based on microbial spores..
For effective sterilization, steam needs to penetrate the autoclave load uniformly, so an autoclave must not be overcrowded, and the lids of bottles and containers must be left ajar. Alternatively steam penetration can be achieved by shredding the waste in some Autoclave models that also render the end product unrecognizable. During the initial heating of the chamber, residual air must be removed. Indicators should be placed in the most difficult places for the steam to reach to ensure that steam actually penetrates there.
For autoclaving, as for all disinfection or sterilization methods, cleaning is critical. Extraneous biological matter or grime may shield organisms from the property intended to kill them, whether it physical or chemical. Cleaning can also remove a large number of organisms. Proper cleaning can be achieved by physical scrubbing. This should be done with detergent and warm water to get the best results. Cleaning instruments or utensils with organic matter, cool water must be used because warm or hot water may cause organic debris to coagulate.
Dry heat can be used to sterilize items, but as the heat takes much longer to be transferred to the organism, both the time and the temperature must usually be increased, unless forced ventilation of the hot air is used. The standard setting for a hot air oven is at least two hours at 160 °C (320 °F). A rapid method heats air to 190 °C (374 °F) for 6 minutes for unwrapped objects and 12 minutes for wrapped objects. Dry heat has the advantage that it can be used on powders and other heat-stable items that are adversely affected by steam (for instance, it does not cause rusting of steel objects).
Glass bead sterilizer, once a common sterilization method employed in dental offices as well as biologic laboratories, to be used as inter-patients sterilizer since 1997. Still it is popular in European dental practice although there are no current evidence-based guidelines for using this sterilizer.

 

Chemical sterilization

Chemicals are also used for sterilization. Although heating provides the most reliable way to rid objects of all transmissible agents, it is not always appropriate, because it will damage heat-sensitive materials such as biological materials, fiber optics, electronics, and many plastics. Low temperature gas sterilizers function by exposing the articles to be sterilized to high concentrations (typically 5 - 10% v/v) of very reactive gases (alkylating agents such as ethylene oxide, and oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide and ozone). Liquid sterilants and high disinfectants typically include oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid and aldehydes such as glutaraldehyde and more recently o-phthalaldehyde. While the use of gas and liquid chemical sterilants/high level disinfectants avoids the problem of heat damage, users must

 

Chemicals are also used for sterilization. Although heating provides the most reliable way to rid objects of all transmissible agents, it is not always appropriate, because it will damage heat-sensitive materials such as biological materials, fiber optics, electronics, and many plastics. Low temperature gas sterilizers function by exposing the articles to be sterilized to high concentrations (typically 5 - 10% v/v) of very reactive gases (alkylating agents such as ethylene oxide, and oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide and ozone). Liquid sterilants and high disinfectants typically include oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid and aldehydes such as glutaraldehyde and more recently o-phthalaldehyde. While the use of gas and liquid chemical sterilants/high level disinfectants avoids the problem of heat damage, users must

 

Disinfectants are antimicrobial agents that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms, the process of which is known as disinfection. Disinfection is defined as: Cleaning an article of some or all of the pathogenic organisms which may cause infection Disinfectants should generally be distinguished from antibiotics that destroy microorganisms within the body, and from antiseptics, which destroy microorganisms on living tissue. Sanitizers are substances that reduce the number of microorganisms to a safe level . The main difference between a sanitizer and a disinfectant is that at a specified use dilution, the disinfectant must have a higher kill capability for pathogenic bacteria compared to that of a sanitizer. Very few disinfectants and sanitizers can sterilize (the complete elimination of all microorganisms), and those that can depend entirely on their mode of application. Bacterial endospores are most resistant to disinfectants, however some viruses and bacteria also possess some tolerance.

 

Different types of disinfectants used in our clinic to prevent the possibility of infection .
Sprays , wipes , gel

 

VIRACTIS  77
Cleans and disinfects at the same time all surfaces, equipment , chairs , units.
Very pleasant grapefruit scent.
Dries rapidly and without trace .

 

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