In an age where antibiotics are becoming less effective against evolving diseases, reducing the spread of infectious microbes is vital. Autoclaves and the data loggers that monitor their effectiveness greatly help in mitigating risk in hospitals and other vulnerable facilities.
Autoclaves are used to sterilize medical and laboratory equipment before doctors, researchers, or other medical staff members use them. They also sterilize bio-hazardous waste before disposal, reducing the risk to the environment and general public.
Autoclaves utilize pressurized steam at high temperatures for sterilization . The pressurized steam has deep penetrating power, making it ideal for thoroughly rooting out hazardous bio organisms and other potential harms. Autoclaves are typically made of steel and are extremely durable chambers. They are often equipped with an internal sensor to help ensure that the chamber reaches sufficient temperatures for sterilization on a consistent basis. However, because of the risks associated with improperly running sterilization cycles or equipment failure, stand-alone data loggers are used to validate that the machine is working properly and to map areas of the chamber to assure there are no temperature variations within.
The Sterilization Process
When an autoclave is used, the amount of time required to kill microbial hazards is referred to as thermal death time. The hotter the autoclave runs, the shorter the thermal death time. In most cases, a shorter thermal death time is preferred, but larger loads of equipment may require a longer cycle. Because data loggers generate time stamped readings, the exact amount of time it takes for a load to reach the desired temperature can properly be recorded, saving time and money by having the machines only run as long as they are needed.
Autoclaves are highly effective in killing microorganisms that other methods simply can’t. With an autoclave, the process causes vital proteins and enzymes to coagulate, destroying the microorganism. However, if the chamber has temperature variations due to improper airflow, some parts of the load may not be fully sterilized and continue to run the risk of spreading the microbial hazards even after the cycle is complete. Using data loggers to map the chamber and recognize any temperature differentials will provide the detailed information needed to make changes to the machine, or validate that it is running on par.
Why Monitoring Is Important
Monitoring the performance of autoclaves is important to ensure that materials placed in the chamber are sterilized to recommended safety standards. Data loggers can not only assure consistency within a single load, but also record temperatures over time to ensure that loads remain uniform and provide the data and reports necessary for validation.
MadgeTech provides high quality data loggers that can be used in many applications for a variety of industries. Established in 1996, the company strives to continually improve the data loggers by implementing the latest technologies to offer a complete data logging solution.