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
Figure 10-7.Paper/plastic peel packs.
event-related. Your command ICO will determine
what method your sterilization program will use.
TIME-RELATED.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date, the item is considered to be outdated and should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.
EVENT-RELATED SHELF LIFE.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).
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
Paper envelope (sealed
with sterilization tape)
Nonwoven blue wrap
Nonwoven blue wrap,
plastic covered, heat-
Peel plastic packs, heat-
sealed or self-sealed
Parchment paper or
Glass test tubes with screw