What Type Of Autoclave Should A Hospital Buy?
Autoclaves are vital to hospitals as they are used to sterilize surgical instruments as well as different medical devices and equipment. Since these items are reused on multiple patients, it is imperative that they are free from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. As a result, hospitals need to invest in high-quality autoclaves that meet their specific needs. But with several types of autoclaves available in the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. In this article, you will learn more about the different types of autoclaves and which one is worth buying for hospitals.
What is a hospital autoclave?
Before we delve into the types of autoclaves, let’s first understand what hospital autoclaves are and why they are important in the healthcare industry.
Autoclaves are machines that use high-pressure steam to sterilize medical equipment, surgical instruments, and even certain types of medical waste. The steam is generated by heating water in a pressurized chamber, which creates high pressure and temperature that kill microorganisms. Apart from hospitals, autoclaves are also used in smaller clinics and other healthcare facilities to prevent the spread of infections and ensure that medical equipment is safe for patient use.
Types of autoclaves used in hospitals
There are several types of autoclaves available in the market, each with its unique features and benefits. Here are the most common types of autoclaves used in hospitals.
- Gravity Autoclaves
Gravity autoclaves are usually less expensive than other types of autoclaves, but they require a longer sterilization cycle and are less effective at sterilizing porous materials. However, they can still be used to treat flat medical instruments. Still, the lack of versatility and speed usually makes them less popular, even with their lower capital costs.
- Pre-vacuum Autoclaves
For many reasons, pre-vacuum autoclave machines are usually considered the best option for hospitals. These autoclaves use a vacuum pump to remove the air from the chamber before the steam is introduced, creating a more effective sterilization process. They are faster than gravity autoclaves and are better at sterilizing porous materials like fabrics and plastics. They can also have lower operational costs, making them an excellent long-term solution for on-site sterilization.
- Tabletop Autoclaves
Tabletop autoclaves are small, portable autoclaves that can also be used in small clinics, dental offices, and other healthcare facilities. They are affordable and easy to use, making them an excellent option for facilities with limited space and budget.
What type of autoclave should a hospital buy?
When it comes to buying an autoclave for a hospital, there are several factors to consider. These include:
- The volume of items that need to be sterilized
- The type of items that need to be sterilized
- The available space for the autoclave
- The budget of your healthcare facility
Based on these factors, hospitals should consider pre-vacuum autoclaves as their primary option. Pre-vacuum autoclaves are probably the most practical and efficient option for hospitals, as they can sterilize a wide range of items quickly and effectively. While they are also more expensive than other types of autoclaves, the investment is worth it. They provide a higher level of safety and protection for patients, as well as lower operational costs thanks to advanced energy and water-saving systems.