Sunday, January 23

Autoclaves: What Are Its Limitations?

Autoclaves are primarily used to sterilize medical equipment. The machine uses hot steam to kill germs and bacteria found on medical tools. This method has been around since time immemorial to keep medical equipment in great shape and safe for reuse. Sample medical equipment for autoclaving includes surgical knives and clamps. It not only ends there. Autoclaving can also be used to steam medical waste. Once the medical waste has been sterilized it simplifies the task for experts in medical waste disposal services Forth Worth Texas. Autoclaves do not require any form of chemical to destroy micro-organisms. Perhaps, this is why many stakeholders in the medical industry recommend this option for the proper disposal of medical waste. 

Autoclaves come in handy for waste products that are less likely to produce substantial off-gas. Autoclave medical waste comes out of the machine compressed.  This reduces the size of the waste significantly. 

One downside about autoclaving is that it can aerosolize chemicals. some chemicals can make one sick when breathed in. Medical waste that contains chemical substances should be disposed of and treated using a different method. Breathing in the chemical can pose health hazards to people within the surrounding area and some extent the environment. And if the facility has a highly functional HVAC system, it overworks to improve the quality of the air. Odds that this potential hazard found in the air can find its way other surfaces in the facility including floors, countertops, and ductwork. 

Autoclave Limitation

Remember, the primary reason for autoclaving is to get rid of harmful germs and bacteria. Tiny combustible materials can burn off, especially in a dry system where there is available oxygen. However, there are some limitations to this kind of medical waste treatment. Desist from putting materials that may produce chemical reaction while being heated up. Volatile materials should be treated using a different method; not autoclaving. More so, autoclaving will not affect RCRA ((Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) hazardous waste. You can’t put in heavy metals and expect to have gotten rid of the bacteria after autoclaving. 

How about pathological waste? This is another waste that should not be treated in an autoclave. Pathological waste has lower thermal conductivity, so to get a great result you’d it will need to spend a longer time in the autoclave. 

Autoclave is a great alternative to incineration, but is it more effective? You can’t say which method is ideal and most effective in dealing with medical waste as they both have their pros and cons. Moreover, every healthcare facility will prefer a certain option over the other. Simply put, individual preferences will be one of the deciding factors on the right method to choose. 

Autoclaves can be found in different kinds of sizes and capacities and sizes. The most important thing is to choose the one that best suits your need and budget. All in all, an autoclave is ideal for dealing with infectious waste, reducing the risk of contamination.

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