Before any medical procedure, most individuals expect that all medical equipment has been sterilized before it is about to be used. From the nineteen eighties, ethylene oxide gas sterilization was the principal method used and although heat, chemical and gaseous methods have been introduced, the same methods, although updated with modern technology, are still used.
The Target Is Not Changed
The key for all medical sterilization methods remains the same, which is to kill organisms effectively. What has been learned over the years is that some methods work better with some products and that the effectiveness varies between the methods and products. Industry preferences may have changed in some areas, but ethylene oxide gas sterilization method is still the most popular method.
During the nineteen eighties ethylene oxide gas sterilization was used in around 90% of all devices organized for sterilization. Some of the larger manufacturers used e-beam and gamma for sterilization, and the introduction of irradiation contractors was only beginning.
Many medical devices that used to be manufactured in North America have seen the process moved overseas. Nevertheless, each of these products must be sterilized in the US, before use.
While it may cost less to manufacture the products overseas, the requirements for sterilization must meet national rules and regulations.
Modern Contract Sterilization Services
What has changed significantly over the years, has been the availability of contract services to provide sterilization. These companies have invested significantly so that they can perform these tasks effectively within facilities that are state-of-the-art and technologically advanced.
This means that individual facilities are satisfied that contract sterilization is efficient and effective and goes beyond the standards required under the current authorization.
When selecting a contract sterilization organization, you will need to consider their length of experience, knowledge and employee training and updating. Only the highest standards are required and while outsourcing the sterilization process is cost-effective, this may be negated when you attempt to use a low-cost operation.