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Sterilizing Units, Low Pressure-Temperature Steam/Formaldehyde

Definition : Sterilizing equipment that combines the simultaneous use of low-pressure, low-temperature steam and formaldehyde gas in one unit; the equipment is designed for total inactivation of microorganisms that are or may be present on medical devices that are sensitive to high temperature. These equipment usually consist of a free-standing or tabletop unit including a treatment chamber with shelves on which the devices to be sterilized are placed, usually after being cleaned of gross debris and then packed; means to introduce the steam (either from an external boiler using a dedicated line or from a built-in steam generator) and the formaldehyde gas into the chamber; and controls to regulate the time and/or temperature of the procedure. Frequently the time and temperature of the sterilizing cycles are pre-established according the type of device to be sterilized; the typical low-temperature sterilization cycles may operate at or below 60 or 80 degrees Celsius (140 or 176 degrees Fahrenheit). After the sterilization cycle is complete, the steam and gas residues are exhausted, sometimes using partial vacuum to facilitate the extraction. These sterilizing units are used mainly in hospital central supply departments and/or in other healthcare facility areas that perform a great deal of sterilization of heat-sensitive devices, including devices with plastic and/or rubber components such as endoscopes and disposable syringes. Some equipment may offer additional capabilities for standard steam sterilization procedures at higher temperatures.

Entry Terms : "Low Temperature Sterilizers" , "Low Pressure Sterilizers"

UMDC code : 27252

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