Randal Eveland, PhD, explains how vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VHP) sterilisers can offer improved device compatibility, as well as significantly reducing reprocessing time.
Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) managers have more options to efficiently use low temperature vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VHP) sterilisers thanks to recent advances in VHP technology and the availability of these systems and their accessories for hospital use. VHP sterilisers (with hydrogen peroxide as the sterilising agent) are well known for their short total process time and their suitability for temperature-sensitive devices and materials. Looking beyond temperature-sensitive devices, VHP sterilisers are an excellent option for sterilisation of many devices now processed in steam.
VHP sterilisers are easy to use, with unalterable sterilisation cycles and specific guidelines for the types of devices to be processed in their cycles. Device manufacturers provide instructions for use (IFU), and some VHP steriliser manufacturers offer internet tools that help users identify compatible devices for specific steriliser cycles to ensure that a device is compatible with the selected VHP sterilisation process.
VHP sterilisers have materials claims identified in their operator manuals, for example stainless steel, that allows lumened or non-lumened stainless steel devices to be processed within them. The process to prepare loads for VHP sterilisers is the same as for other sterilisation methods: before loads are processed, they must be cleaned, rinsed and thoroughly dried. Loads are then packaged to provide a sterile barrier, whether the load is to be used immediately or stored for future use.
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