Autoclaves are sterilizers that use high-pressure steam to remove living organisms and contaminants from equipment. They can be found in places such as tattoo parlors, nail salons – but especially in veterinary, dentist and doctor offices. The purpose of these sterilizers is to prevent germs from passing between clients and patients.
Any equipment that removes germs is classified as a sterilizer. The autoclave uses steam to kill all forms of bacteria and germs. Not all equipment can withstand the high temperatures produced by the very hot steam of the autoclave.
When choosing an autoclave for your facility, there are a few factors to consider – one of them being manual or automatic.
Manual vs. Automatic Autoclaves
Manual autoclaves require physically setting to fill and waiting for the flow of water to go into the chamber. Once the autoclave is loaded, the door is shut and locked. From there, the correct sterilization temperatures for the material to be sterilized needs to be selected and set.
Automatic sterilizers work with the push of a button. Controlled sterilization settings make this type of autoclave easy to operate. However, they do not have the detailed sterilization operation control of a manual autoclave.
Other Factors to Consider
Some other factors to take into consideration when choosing an autoclave for your facility include:
- How much bench or counter space is devoted to the equipment?
- What load capacity is needed?
Measure the length of the longest instrument or surgical package to calculate the volume and length of the chamber required.
- Is the material porous or nonporous?
Nonporous and porous materials have different requirements to ensure proper sterilization. Pre-vacuum autoclaves remove air from the chamber to allow steam to penetrate porous items more proficiently.
The type of instrument to be purified often dictates the equipment needed to clean them.
Buying Refurbished vs New Steam Sterilizers
If the budget allows, new equipment will last for years and is a great long-term equipment investment. Meanwhile, refurbished equipment that has been restored to like-new condition provides considerable savings and will serve your facility just as well.
Future Health Concepts refurbishes autoclaves and steam sterilizers from Amsco / Steris and Getinge / Castle. Various chamber sizes, door styles, and double door units are available to suit your needs. New steam generators by Reimers and refurbished generators from Electro-Steam and Chromalox are also available. View all autoclaves and steam sterilizers options here.