The hygiene of your doctor’s office is a key point in ensuring the safety of healthcare personnel and preserving the health of the patient. The medical autoclave is the central part of your practice’s hygiene. The autoclave ensures the sterilization of all medical equipment coming into contact with the patient’s blood or mucous membranes.
A medical autoclave is equipment that will accompany you in the exercise of your profession of specialist or general practitioner for 5 to 20 years depending on your use. Making the right choice right away is therefore crucial.But what is a good autoclave? This will be the medical autoclave that best meets your needs, your expectations, your habits, and your specialization.Choosing the right autoclave, therefore, begins with understanding how to make the right choice for your private practice. We invite you tofind further details on MeCan Medical through this guide how to choose your autoclave?
What is an autoclave?
Let’s start by reading the dictionary definition.
- Autoclave: adjective and masculine noun that closes in on itself
- Metal container;with hermetic exterior closure, resistant to high pressures
With such a definition, it is easy to understand that there are several families in the world of autoclaves. Indeed, can come under this definition as well the ovens, pressure cookers as medical autoclaves.
If we go back to the genesis of autoclaves, it is easy to understand why the general notion of autoclaves brings together different equipment, which can be very far from each other. Originally, an autoclave is a container that allows the earth’s atmospheric pressure to be exceeded in order to bring liquid water above 100°C, its normal boiling temperature at normal pressure.The autoclave has become so essential in the medical world that the verb autoclave has emerged.So now we know that when we talk about autoclaves, we will always talk about medical autoclaves.
Principle of sterilization
Do not confuse sterilization and disinfection! If sometimes we can make mistakes in language, it is nevertheless essential to make a clear difference. Sterilization is the only process that frees medical devices and instruments from all the burdens of living microorganisms as well as viruses. Sterilization is absolute. An object is either sterile or it is not. There is no between.An autoclave, therefore, ensures sterilization. The sterilizing agent here is water pressurized and heated to 134°C.
Where will my autoclave be used?
Before speaking immediately capacity, standard, sterilization chamber, traceabilitystart with something much more prosaic: where do you put your autoclave? Three questions to help you identify the three most frequent cases.
Will my autoclave be in the same room as me?
If you answer the above question in the affirmative, or if the answer is “frankly not far” or “within earshot” then you must immediately orient yourself towards a particular type of autoclave: a silent autoclave.
Do I have a water supply nearby for my autoclave?
We will talk about it again, but an autoclave may (or may not) connect directly to a water supply to avoid you having to fill the tank. You will generally encounter this need from 3 to 5 sterilization cycles per day. Nothing prevents you from using a water inlet when you do less sterilization per day; you will gain in general simplicity of use.If you want to use such a feature, you still have to have thought of the water supply right away!
Have I planned a suitable space to accommodate my autoclave?
The volume occupied by an autoclave is certainly limited compared to a large autoclave, but it nevertheless occupies a volume that requires having thought about its location in advance. The weight is also rather significant; a stable and solid support is an obligation. Of course, the larger the capacity of your autoclave, the more its volume and weight will increase.
What capacity should I choose for my medical autoclave?
The capacity is the maximum quantity that can be contained in your future autoclave. As the capacities are expressed in units of volume, the liter has been used.The capacity of your autoclave will therefore absolutely determine the number of elements that you can sterilize at one time. One could therefore be tempted to think that an autoclave with a capacity greater than its actual need would therefore be perfect. The larger your autoclave, the more expensive it will be to acquire and more expensive in energy to use. Class B autoclaves offer a large number of different capacities, up to 60 liters.
Connect your autoclave to water demineralized
Do you have a water supply close to your medical sterilizer autoclave and you no longer want to use cans of demineralized water? This can be for a question of place, organization, shipping costs, or simply because you want to automate the whole.The solution-The water is demineralized. Coupled with an autoclave controlling the water quality in real-time, having a water demineralizer directly connected to the autoclave’s water inlet is a real plus in terms of comfort and time-saving.Please note, however, that not all autoclaves offer this possibility.
Water tank, access, and capacity
Have you decided to opt for demineralized water cans? So pay close attention to the water tank of your future autoclave. It might seem like a detail, but each constraint at this level will be a waste of time that will have to be multiplied over the 5 to 20 years of use of your autoclave. Losing 2 minutes, if it’s 3 times a week, 45 weeks a year, over 10 years, immediately amounts to 45 hours of wasted work.
Three pitfalls that come up often and waste a lot of time:
- A difficult to access hatch that requires you to clear the surroundings of the autoclave to finally be able to fully open the hatch
- The neck shape of the reservoir makes it impractical to pour out large amounts of water quickly.
- A small-capacity tank requires the autoclave to be filled too often.
You know, your autoclave uses water as a sterilizing agent. This water is found in the form of vapor within the autoclave. Once this water has been used for sterilization, the autoclave recovers it thanks to its vacuum pump system.
Two possibilities:you use the wastewater collector of your autoclave, or you connect your autoclave directly to a water outlet
Are you going to use the wastewater collection tank? The latter must have sufficient capacity to last the whole day without needing to be emptied during the day. Depending on your pace of use, the capacity you will need can vary greatly. Take the time to compare the capacities, and especially the wastewater created in each cycle. Simple multiplication and you will quickly see if the tank is sufficient. Note that the latter must also be easily accessible. Usually, you have a lug on the front of the autoclave. Connect a drain hose to it for manual draining.
- Note that you will also need to empty your wastewater during the daily cleaning of your autoclave. You will therefore have to perform at least one oil change per day.
- To save time, you can no longer do it by hand. Just like a dishwasher or washing machine, some autoclaves can be directly connected to a water outlet to automatically trigger the emptying of wastewater.
Maintenance and cleaning
Maintaining and cleaning your autoclave is done on a daily, weekly, and quarterly basis. If no autoclave offers a magic function to do it for you, some go further than others.A quality autoclave should tell you when it is necessary to do these cleaning and maintenance cycles. No need to add an extra mental load for a task that has to be done by a machine.