Autoclaves are sterilizers that use high-pressure steam to remove living organisms and contaminants from equipment. They can be found in tattoo parlours; nail salons; veterinary, dentist and doctor offices. The purpose of the sterilizers is to prevent germs from passing between clients and patients.
They are used for medical and dental instrument sterilization, handpiece sterilization, and other autoclavable material. Absolute Medical Equipment carries automatic and manual sterilizers. Autoclaves are a sterilizer subset.
Any equipment that removes germs is classified as a sterilizer. The autoclave uses steam to kill all forms of bacteria and germs. Regular sterilizers use irritation, filtration, chemicals or a combination of those methods to destroy living organisms.
Not all equipment can withstand the high temperatures produced by the very hot steam of the autoclave. For that type of material, other sterilization processes are required.
Manual vs. Automatic
Manual autoclaves require physically setting to fill and wait for a flow of water into the chamber. The autoclave is loaded. The door is shut and locked. Correct sterilization temperatures for the material to be sterilized is selected and set.
Automatic sterilizers work automatically with push-button controlled sterilization settings. There are advantages to each type of sterilizer. Automatic autoclaves are simple to operate. They do not have the detailed sterilization operation control of a manual autoclave.
Factors to take into consideration when making a choice include: How much bench or counter space is devoted to the equipment? What load capacity is needed? Measure the length of the longest instrument or surgical package to calculate the volume and length of the chamber required.
Nonporous and porous materials have different cycle requirements to assure proper sterilization. Pre-vacuum autoclaves typically suck out the air in the chamber to allow steam to penetrate porous items efficiently.
Gravity autoclaves are used to sterilize nonporous liquids and equipment. The type of instrument to be purified dictates the cycles needed to clean them.
Best Type of Purchase
If the budget allows, new equipment will last for years and is a worthy long-term equipment investment. Refurbished equipment that has been restored to like-new condition yields considerable savings when compared to a new sterilizer or autoclave.
In each instance, protect the investment by checking the warranty. A guideline for acceptable warranties is one to two years of coverage for new autoclaves and sterilizers and six months for labour and parts coverage of refurbished models. For both refurbished and new, be sure parts are readily available.