Autoclaves come in many types. These machines are used in many different service areas. From tattoo parlors to laboratories, autoclaves are relied upon to sterilize important tools. Keeping these machines running smoothly is imperative for safety.
How Are Autoclaves Used?
Autoclaves are used to cleanse and sterilize soiled equipment. This items include: surgical instruments, laboratory glassware, and in some cases waste material. Pressurized steam at a temperature of 270 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to remove most contaminants.
For medical purposes, a devotion to sterile instruments is imperative for the health of the patients and medical staff. But it is also vital in establishments that perform invasive procedures, such as tattoo and piercing parlors. A simple bench top model, like the Scican Statim 2000 autoclave, is sufficient for a small tattoo business.
The autoclave gets its name from Charles Chamberland, who created the first prototype in 1884 for medical usage. Chamberland took the idea of sterilization from Louis Pasteur, who found that bacteria is killed in temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. While Pasteur boiled instruments, Chamberland preferred steam. Today’s autoclaves sterilize tools at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit using high-pressured steam.
How Can You Be Sure Your Autoclave Is Working Efficiently?
As with any appliance, it can be tricky knowing if your autoclave is working efficiently. Even the newest Scican Statim 5000 could begin to slip in performance if it receives improper maintenance. There are a few indicators that show up when an autoclave is performing at a subpar level.
Often times, an autoclave will continue to sterilize the load. This is good news. However, the problem is not if that new Scican Statim 5000 is working at all, but if it is working efficiently. The first thing to check for is water usage. If the autoclave is overworking, it will use more water per load. Next, check the energy usage. This might need to be reviewed over the course of a month to get an accurate picture. These problems can arise through a lack of proper maintenance.
How Do You Care For an Autoclave Daily, Weekly, and Monthly?
An autoclave should be serviced about every 300 uses. Some will need to be serviced every three months, while others are used less. These may only be need to be serviced once a year. It depends on how much work the autoclave does.
An autoclave will work better if it is consistently taken care of on a schedule regardless of usage. The daily care is simple: don’t over-task the machine. This means cleaning the tools of debris before being loaded on the trays; making sure the trays are not overloaded; and checking the seal on the door for signs of wear.
Each week, the machine needs to be throughly cleaned with an approved cleanser. The water reservoir must be completely drained and refilled. Monthly, the autoclave chambers and flush line need to be cleaned using an approved cleanser. The plug and cord is an area often overlooked, but one that must be examined for excessive wear and tear. It is possible to replace the power cord alone if necessary.
Each year, an autoclave needs to be inspected and recalibrated regardless of its usage. These machines are relied upon to sterilize important equipment. It makes sense to take good care of them. More like this blog.