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Introduction of new sterilization techniques in Hospitals

12.11.2018 · Posted in Other Health Articles

With the advances in technology the equipment being used in hospitals have also undergone drastic changes. Earlier the equipment used for operations and dressings used to be primarily made of high-quality steel and hance sterilization was also normal and normally autoclaves used to serve the purpose for the same.

But with the advances in technology now the equipment used are even of high-grade plastics and some are even semiconductor-based. Hence the requirement for a sterilizer for heat sensitive material is required at almost all hospitals.

A normal autoclave sterilizer doesn’t serve the purpose for sterilizing heat and semiconductor-based equipment as autoclaves are generally steam based sterilizers and hence are not safe for heat sensitive and semiconductor-based equipment.

Sterilizer for Heat Sensitive Material

The sterilization equipment has also made advances in adapting to new technology and with now ozone based sterilizers coming into the market the problem of sterilizing heat sensitive and semiconductor-based equipment has been solved. Ozone-based sterilizers are quite effective in sterilizing not only general equipment but heat sensitive and semiconductor-based equipment as well.

Due to its properties ethylene oxide has become very popular low-temperature alternative sterilizer for sterilization of instruments in hospitals as it can be used on a wide range of materials and it is quite effective in destroying microorganisms. The other alternative that can be explored is hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, glutaraldehyde systems and liquid peracetic acid. Ozone-based sterilization is an emerging low-temperature sterilization and is being adapted widely now as this technology has been certified by a wide range of certified labs across the world for its effectiveness.

Most of us are familiar with ozone. We know about the benefits of ozone in the earth’s upper atmosphere and how it protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet [UV] rays. At ground level ozone is a very powerful oxidizing agent. Ozone is also being used as a germicide to sterilize foods, air, and drinking water that contain organic matter such as fungi, viruses, and bacterial spores. In an ozone sterilizer, only electricity, water, and medical-grade oxygen are needed to produce ozone in a sterilization system. Since these components are readily available in hospitals, devices to be sterilized are sterilized at an extremely cost-effective rate. The other her significant advantage of using an ozone-based sterilizer is operator safety. As an ozone sterilizer produces its own sterilizing agent, the sterilant does not require any transportation or physical contact by technicians or operators. The residue of an ozone-based sterilizer is only oxygen and water vapor which can be released into the environment and hence is also environment-friendly.

Hence sterilization of equipment in hospitals has undergone a sea change in the process being adopted these days.

Ozone gas is a pale-blue gas having a characteristic pungent odor. It generally condenses to a dark blue liquid at -170o F (-112o C) and freezes at -315o F (- 193o C). It is being used for medicinal applications since the 1800s when it was used to therapeutically purify the blood. By the 1900s ozonated water had become the norm to treat numerous diseases like anemia, diabetes, influenza, and even canker sores. It was also used to treat wounds, gangrene and after -effects of poisonous gas.

Slowly the concept of developing ozone as a sterilizing agent for equipment evolved and a machine was developed for the same which we know as ozone sterilizers today.

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