If you operate a healthcare facility or manufacturing concern, one significant issue is the demand for the highest levels of product sterilization. Clients, consumers and regulatory agents demand it. While several methods do exist, not all are suitable for every task required of them. When it comes to healthcare devices, instruments and small equipment, a common means of achieving the best results is through ethylene oxide gas sterilization. Known as EO or EtO, this method is commonplace throughout the packaging phase of production.
The process of EO sterilization involves releasing the gas on the products as they lie under a vacuum within a sealed chamber. EO is an alkaline agent. It easily flows through the material of the packages, killing off any bacteria and microbes present. The result is sterilization without damaging the packaging or the contents.
Applications for Ethylene Oxide Gas
Ethylene oxide gas sterilization has several applications. When the requirement is for sterile surfaces beneath certain packaging, this method delivers. It is easily capable of penetrating several layers of breathable material. This makes it ideal when the packaging material is simply not compatible with any other form of sterilization. As a result, applications of this method include the sterilization of
* Assembled complex devices
* Custom procedure kits
* Devices incorporating electronic components
* Dressings for care of wounds
* Materials that suffer damage when placed in higher temperatures
* Materials incompatible with other options e.g. gamma and steam sterilization
* Multi-lumen tubing products
* Plastic products/packaging negatively affected by such methods as irradiation (It discolors the material)
Ethylene Oxide Gas Sterilization
While many methods of sterilizing medical instruments exist, some have proven to be more popular than others have. Among one of the more effective means is ethylene oxide gas sterilization. While more costly, it is very effective in producing a safe and very sterile surface – even through packaging.