According to Celitron, there are many reasons why autoclaving has become one of the most popular methods for disposing of hospital waste. Read on and find out why more and more hospitals choose to use autoclaves instead of other medical waste treatment solutions!
When was autoclaving first used for hospital waste disposal?
The very first autoclave saw the light of the day near the end of the 19th century, in 1879, when a project led by one of the closest associates of Louis Pasteur successfully led to the invention of a new prototype for autoclaving hospital waste and equipment. Charles Chamberland recognized the need for a new and more reliable method of sterilization in the medical industry that would drastically reduce the risks associated with the spread of infection originating from any medical equipment used in the treatment of patients.
Of course, it would still be some time until autoclaving would see widespread use for the disposal of hospital waste, but by the beginning of the 20th century, more and more medical facilities decided to opt for this sterilization method. Nowadays, they are present in hospitals all over the world, and are considered by many to be one of the best methods for sterilizing hospital equipment.
What are the benefits of autoclaving regarding the disposal of hospital waste?
One of the main reasons why autoclaving has gained such an important role in the disposal of hospital waste is that it uses high-temperature and high-pressure steam to completely destroy all foreign materials present on the load inside the steam sterilizer’s chamber.
During the so-called steam sterilization process, the steam inside the machine’s chamber can reach temperatures well over 100 degrees Celsius (usually between 121 and 134 depending on the model used), which allows steam sterilizers to kill even heat resistant bacteria, something that cannot be achieved by many hospital waste disposal methods.
Compared to incineration, it is also much more cost-effective, not to mention more practical, since can be used on-site by staff. Autoclaving also serves a dual purpose, since it can not only be used to sterilize waste before the final disposal phase can take place, but also to sterilize hospital equipment and surgical tools, which can then be safely used again to treat other patients.
What kind of steam sterilizer should I use for the disposal of hospital waste? Differences in autoclaving processes
Each and every medical facility should consider how much waste they generate and how many medical tools they use so that they may choose the autoclave best suited to their needs. Large steam sterilizers are usually more suited for hospital waste disposal since their capacity can range from 110 liters to the incredible amount of 880 liters.
Class B steam sterilizers are considered to be top-class machines, and are usually more suited for autoclaving hospital waste thanks to their speed and versatility, allowing staff to work more efficiently and sterilize more types of materials, including porous loads, textile medical products, surgical tools, and more.
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