Elastic instruments and respiration systems

I would like to know what instruments do you mean by elastic instruments (in Elastic instruments and respiration systems).

Elastic instruments means:

• Catheters,
• Respiratory masks,
• Respiratory tubes,
• and so on...

Many elastic instruments require steam sterilization of 5 min at 134°C. Is it also possible to sterilize the instruments for 18 min at 134°C because of the prion issue?

In principle yes, but the instruments will be subject to faster aging, in particular those made of natural latex/natural rubber, i.e. their service life will be limited.

How often can elastic instruments be sterilized/reprocessed?

There is no simple answer to this question on the basis of statistics. In fact, it automatically entails additional questions, because the type of instrument or its history also plays a role here: What materials are the instruments made of? How old are the instruments? How were the instruments stored? What is the reprocessing history and have there been any interactions with disinfectants? There may well have been interaction with the materials of other instruments or other equipment. Instruments made of natural latex/rubber could already be damaged due to incorrect storage (influence of light, temperature, ozone), and such damage can even be aggravated by reprocessing processes. Mechanical damage is particularly problematic in the case of silicone elastomers and this may also lead to premature instrument failure. Experience has shown that instruments based on natural latex/rubber can tolerate up to 20 reprocessing cycles involving sterilization, instruments with silicone elastomers may tolerate even more. If purely manual disinfection is used, elastic instruments can be reprocessed up to a 100 times.

Is it permitted to sterilize rubber sleeves and instruments in the same batch? Or must such products be processed separately?

Rubber caps should be removed from the instrument but stored next to it on the tray during sterilization to facilitate correct assignment when preparing for the operation. Note that if an item is in any way changed by your CSSD (Central Sterile Supply Department) staff - including mere cutting to size, for example -, the manufacturer's declaration of conformity may be voided.

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