Sterilization destroys all microorganisms, including blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
Biological monitoring (spore testing) must be done every 2 weeks. You must send the strip tests to a laboratory for testing. A passed (negative) spore test means the sterilizer is working properly. A failed (positive) spore test means the sterilizer is not working properly. Keep copies of the spore test results on site for a year and on file for 5 years.
**Do not use sterilized items or instruments until AFTER you receive the passed (negative) spore test results**
Three consecutive spore tests must be conducted if:
Chemical monitoring must be done every time you use the autoclave. This means that all instrument packages must have a heat sensitive indicator on the outside. The indicator will change colour if the instrument has gone through a cycle in the autoclave. It does not tell you if the instrument was sterilized properly.
Physical monitoring means keeping a record for each load. You must write down the date, time, duration, amount of equipment, temperature, pressure and the person who is responsible for the sterilization load. These records must be on site for one year and on file for five years. The date an item is sterilized must also be written on the package. Before writing, wait for the item to dry and be careful not to tear the package with your pen. A sticker can also be used with the sterilization date.