According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 46.5 million medical procedures are performed, every year, in the United States. With such a vast number of operations, there is potentially a considerable risk for the patient, as the devices might introduce pathogens, leading to infection. It is, therefore, imperative to ensure that all these devices are sterilized.
Ethylene Oxide (EO/EOT) sterilization is one of the most common methods of sterilization. There may be many questions with regards to the EO device sterilization and services. Here are four frequently asked questions regarding the EO Sterilization method.
1. What is EOT Sterilization?
EOT sterilization is a new method that is utilized by industries to sterilize most of their medical devices. Essentially, this technique incorporates the use of low temperatures to sterilize medical equipment. The essential needs for the sterilization process are gas, low temperatures, humidity, and the right duration of exposure. It is paramount that the gas concentration is 450 to 1200mg/l and the temperature is between 37 to 63 C.
2. How does EO Work?
In the recent past, Ethylene Oxide (EO) has gained popularity as the preferred sterilization method. The process involves the utilization of a low-temperature gas to sterilize medical equipment. Due to its alkaline nature, EO interrupts the cellular metabolism and reproduction of pathogens, thereby annihilating them. Its gaseous state allows for the penetration of breathable packaging, sterilizing contact surfaces in the process.
3. How Long Does ETO Sterilization Last?
The process of EO Sterilization entails three significant steps, which include preconditioning, sterilization, and aeration. Excluding aeration, the process takes about 2 ½ hours. As for the aeration phase, 8 to 12 hours are sufficient to allow for the desorption of toxic EO residuals. However, modern equipment incorporates these two stages into one continuous process.
4. Is EO Sterilization Safe?
Before any sterilization device is released in the market, the FDA ensures that the sterility is up to international standards. This is achieved by reviewing the already released submissions in the market to determine if they meet the global criterion. The FDA also visits and inspects industrial facilities used to manufacture the EO sterilization devices to ensure that the processes are FDA approved.
As the number of medical procedures, including invasive procedures, continues to increase, it is vital to ensure the safety of these devices. EO sterilization services, therefore, ensure the process is up to the FDA-acceptable Standards.
For more information, reach out to an EO sterilization service provider.