Using proper wrapping material for instrument sets. The use of muslin wraps are discouraged. Cloth and nonwoven wraps are sealed with external indicator tape as illustrated in figure 10-8. The indicator tape will change color if exposed to the sterilization elements. When wrapping instrument packs with indicator tape, always turn the tabs down on the tape. This provides a folded edge to aid in opening the package and removing the tape. Launder muslin towels after each use and inspect for tears or pinholes. Follow the manufacturers time and temperature settings on sterilizers for the types of wrapping material used.
Figure 10-7.Paper/plastic peel packs.
event-related. Your command ICO will determine what method your sterilization program will use.
Time-related shelf life is identified with an exact expiration date. After this date, the item is considered to be outdated and should not be used. Table 10-2 lists the different wrapping methods and their time-related shelf life in accordance with BUMEDINST 6600.10.
The use of the event-related method presumes continued sterility until the package is damaged, wet, or torn. It is a well-recognized standard for items in good quality, self-sealed or hermetically (airtight) sealed, packaged in paper or plastic, or sequentially-wrapped and sealed
Table 10-2.Time-Related Shelf Life of Sterilized Items Using internal and external chemical indicators or multi-parameter integrators (measures temperature, steam and time).
Expiration Dates After the packs, instruments, and supplies are wrapped or placed into containers and sealed, they must be labeled with the identification number of the sterilizer, the preparers initials, and the dates of sterilization and expiration before they are placed in the sterilizer. To label, use an ink marker, preprinted indicator tape, or a marking device that wont run or fade when exposed to sterilization. The shelf life or expiration date of sterilized items is the period during which an item is considered safe for use. Shelf life can be time-related or
|WRAPPING METHOD||TIME-RELATED SHELF LIFE|
|Paper envelope (sealed with sterilization tape)||365 days|
|Nonwoven blue wrap||30 days|
|Nonwoven blue wrap, plastic covered, heat-sealed||365 days|
|Peel plastic packs, heat- sealed or self-sealed||365 days|
|Parchment paper or Dennison wrap||30 days|
|Glass test tubes with screw caps||indefinite|