A lot of equipment used in laboratories and other medical facilities nowadays, including autoclaves. And this machine is invariably classified by what must be put into before sterilization to achieve the expected result.
Pressuring of medical instruments involves many steps, from holding, cleaning, lubrication, rinsing, drying, corrosion reduction, sterilization, packaging, cooling, etc. Some steps may be frequently discussed than others, but they are all necessary to ensure the process of sterilization is successful and maintain operational efficiency.
Read more as we’ll tackle the correct procedure of how an autoclave must be loaded in today’s post.
The Correct Way Of Loading An Autoclave Machine
Autoclaves are made in different sizes, but the 2 things that are common among these machines are their function in sterilizing items and the shapes of the chamber for autoclaving: the square and circular section.
Circular chamber vessels cost less but have less ‘usable’ internal space as compared to square autoclave chambers. In short, a circular chamber has limited space and load capacity that is suitable for smaller loads while the square chamber is ideal for sterilizing bulky items and bigger loads.
The reason why autoclaves must be loaded properly is to ensure adequate steam penetration so the heat energy exchanger will be maximized once it comes into contact with the load. Other than that, is also crucial that every process cycle is being set according to the type of items to be sterilized.
Moreover, the process cycle allows contained air inside the chamber to be purged as the door closes so it will build up pressure during sterilization once it is removed.
The removal of contained air, along with a good set up of the process cycle, ensures consistent temperature and promotes good penetration which helps for a more comprehensive sterilization process. And of course, the items must also be labeled after autoclaving.
Why You Should Never Overload An Autoclave Chamber
Overloading the autoclave chamber or bad loading should be avoided at all times because the machine may not be able to achieve the appropriate sterilization temperature and may also lead to the eventual abortion of the entire process cycle.
So it’s recommended to spread the items or load evenly on the autoclave tray and not to pack the instruments on either the front end (front load) or back end (rear load) of the vessel. And if the load is composed of different items, they should be evenly spaced on the tray so they can be properly sterilized.
More Tips On Proper Autoclave Loading
Program Selection – The program should be selected according to the type of load to ensure full sterilization.
Closed Containers – Any container to be autoclaved should have holes so that steam can enter and air can escape.
Bags – Bags should be completely opened and not be sealed so the contents inside will be exposed to the steam.
Open Container – Any container in a bag must have holes large enough for the steam to enter. The idea is to allow the steam to go inside and sterilize the contents inside without being hindered by the bag.
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