Why should a hospital choose a class B autoclave?
Among the many types of steam sterilizers available, there are many reasons why you should opt for a class B autoclave sterilizer for your hospital. Read on to find out how they are different from other classes of steam sterilizers, and what benefits you can expect by using the most advanced type of hospital autoclave!
What kind of hospital autoclaves are available apart from class B models?
Autoclaves are usually ranked according to two main attributes: size and class.
In the case of the former, one can choose among small tabletop autoclaves, medium, and large steam sterilizers. Since hospitals are among the largest of medical facilities, they are better off making their choice from the bigger models. The capacity of medium autoclaves can range from 75 to 200 liters, and the capacity of large autoclaves can range from 110 to 880 liters.
As for class, the three most common types of autoclaves are class N, class S, and class B hospital autoclaves. Class is what defines the performance of a steam sterilizer, as well as what kind of materials it can treat.
Class N autoclaves represent the most basic types of steam sterilizers. They use gravity and steam to push the air outwards from their chamber, but can only remove a certain portion of the air. As such, they can only sterilize flat medical tools (e.g. scalpels). They are unable to treat bagged loads, and cannot treat porous materials (any medical equipment that has holes, including cannulas).
Class S autoclaves are already capable of removing all air from within their chamber by using a wall of steam that is denser than the air inside. During the steam sterilization cycle, they will need to repeat this process three times in a row. They are also capable of sterilizing bagged and porous loads, but are still unable to treat textile materials.
The benefits of using class B hospital autoclaves
Class B autoclaves are considered to be the most advanced types of steam sterilizer available on the market right now. The main difference between them and the other “lower” classes of hospital autoclaves, is that they use a powerful vacuum pump to remove all air inside their chamber. This enables to meet the highest standards set by the EU and the WHO for sterilization, since air is one of the greatest obstacles of 100% sterilization.
In practice this means they are able to treat even the most complex of loads, including wrapped and unwrapped items, textile materials, as well as porous and prion loads. The vacuum created inside the chamber allows for much better penetration of the material by the high-temperature steam. This increased performance is also made evident by a much faster sterilization cycle time and shorter drying times. The completely automatic process can be completed in as fast as 20 minutes depending on the size of the load inside.
They are also equipped with extra safety features that help prevent unwanted accidents, and can be customized with a variety of accessories to even better fit the individual needs of hospitals.