Winterize your Sterilizer

Spring is a long way off, and you may still be spending several minutes each day scraping the ice off your car. So don’t forget about your Anprolene sterilizer! As most of you know, your Anprolene sterilizer should be kept at room temperature in a controlled environment of at least 68o F and 35 percent humidity to ensure proper performance. Until temperatures outside warm up, you must take action to make sure the environment for your sterilizer stays regulated. Common problems relating to cold weather include:

Exposure indicators don’t change color.
Color indicators, such as the AN85 Exposure Indicator Strip, are not complete indicators of sterility. They are specifically designed to confirm the presence of Ethylene oxide. The indicator turns blue in the presence of EtO, and it normally does so quickly. If it does not turn blue over a 14-hour period, there may be a serious problem in the sterilization environment.

Dosimeters don’t reach the line.
The AN87 Dosimeter confirms that the right time, temperature and EtO concentration parameters were achieved during the sterilization process. With an understanding of these three variables, you can determine which one is causing the problem. If the Dosimeter was exposed to the correct cycle time, and the bag was sealed properly, then the problem is likely related to temperature. During colder periods, you may not realize how far the temperature has fallen inside your sterilizer, especially during the night.

Biological indicators fail.
The AN80 Steritest is a biological indicator that contains over one million highly resistant bacteria
spores. In low humidity environments, these spores can become desiccated and impossible to kill. Of course, during winter months, low humidity is a common problem. Proper storage of your biological indicators will keep them functioning properly.

Quick tips to remember this winter about your Anprolene sterilizer:

1- EtO must maintain a minimum temperature of 68 degrees to sterilize. Check the environment in which your sterilizer is placed. Please remember that it is colder at night than during the hustle and bustle of your daily practice.

2- Check to see if outside air is entering the sterilizer exhaust line when the unit is not in use. If this is the case, warm the interior of the sterilizer up by opening the door for an hour before running the cycle.

3- Furnaces deliver dry heat to a room. Humidichips help to stabilize humidity in the sterilization bag.

4- Use Dosimeters in each load to check that the parameters of sterilization (time, temperature, and gas concentration) have been met.

5- Use Biological Indicators in your load as the true test of sterility.