Sterilization Bags: Shelf Life and Use

2022/08/27

Sterilization bags are one of the easiest and most reliable ways to store medical devices aseptically, with a shelf life of up to one year. The barrier properties of the materials from which they are made guarantee reliable protection against bacteria, dust, dirt, but what appeals to users is their ease of use as a means of sterilization and storage. How to use cowhide bags for sterilization, what are the sterilization conditions of cowhide bags - this article will introduce.

Sterilization bags are one of the easiest and most reliable ways to store medical devices aseptically, with a shelf life of up to one year. The barrier properties of the materials from which they are made guarantee reliable protection against bacteria, dust, dirt, but what appeals to users is their ease of use as a means of sterilization and storage. How to use cowhide bags for sterilization, what are the sterilization conditions of cowhide bags - this article will introduce.

Sterilization bags are used for packaging, steam and gas sterilization, storage of tools, bandages, gloves, masks, etc. By using packaging, you can maintain the sterility of the processed product.

Sterilized bags are available for handling and safe storage:

medical instruments;

Nail accessories;

Utensils (glass bottles, petri dishes, bottles, etc.);

surgical gloves;

medical underwear and bandages;

Medical products (probes, catheters, drains, etc.).

The advantages of sterilization bags

Such packaging has many advantages:

Breathable sterilant (pressurized steam and ethylene oxide); is a reliable microbial barrier that maintains its appearance after sterilization and ensures that the contents are kept sterile for long periods of time; available in different grades (air, steam, epoxy ethane sterilization) indicators, which can monitor the sterilization quality in real time.

Sterilization and storage bags for medical devices and medical products are made of kraft paper or composite materials: polymer film and crepe paper.

There are the following types of packages:

Self-adhesive for heat sealing. In the first case, it is sealed with a flap with an adhesive layer (protected with a release liner) or a paper clip with a self-adhesive tape on it. The heat-sealed package is sealed with special equipment.

The kraft paper used to produce the bags is a sustainable material made from recycled and environmentally friendly raw materials. The base is sulfated cellulose. For making bags, several layers of paper with a density of 80-100 g/m². m. The packaging is highly moisture-resistant and can be of various sizes and shapes.

Sterilization bags and sterilization rolls made from a variety of materials are very popular. In this case, the bag is multi-layer film (polyester/polypropylene) on one side and crepe paper on the other. Sogeva retort bags are an example of such a product. There are special indicators on the packaging, applied to chemically treated inks, that change color and signal the end of the sterilization process. Using a self-adhesive bag, cover the inner protrusion of the paper with a layer of heat-resistant glue.

Sterilization bags are available for steam and ethylene oxide sterilization. Unlike oven sterilization, which can damage heat-sensitive instruments and damage microsurgical instruments over time, ethylene oxide sterilization has the following benefits:

Can penetrate well into packaging materials and into products with complex configurations;

Simple process and good control;

Microorganisms are quickly eliminated;

Ethylene oxide is compatible with most medical devices.

Sterilization Bags: Shelf Life of Contents

The conditions for maintaining sterility depend on how the bag is sealed:

with staples - up to 3 days;

Double pack of crepe paper - 3 weeks;

Combined self-adhesive bag - can be used for 6 months;

The combination bag is heat-sealed and can be used for up to 12 months;

Sterilizing Bags: Instructions for Use

So, sterilization of kraft bags: how to use packaging to create conditions for safe storage of its contents? Instruments or medical products are placed in the packaging after pre-cleaning (before sterilization), and then the packaging is sealed or welded. In the latter case, special equipment is required, such as the Mirag 100+ packer. The sealing process is completely controlled by this equipment, and both bags and rolls can be packaged (with a cutting device).

The inscription on the package describes the contents of the package (even if one side of the package is transparent), the date and time of sterilization, the signature and disposal of the person who made the bookmark.

Typically sterilization is carried out in an autoclave with steam or ethylene oxide. In the first case, the process is carried out at a temperature of 121 to 134 degrees, sterilized by gas, and the temperature is kept in the range of 30 to 54 degrees.

If there is no sterilization indicator on the package, use the indicator placed in the package. Sterilization bags will have indicators ranging from pink to brown or blue to dark yellow during the sterilization process (for gas and steam sterilization, respectively).

Multiple instruments can be sterilized in one bag, but not in excess. The shelf life of sterilized cowhide bags and combination bags is determined by the manufacturer and indicated in the instructions.

After storage, inspect the package and open aseptically if not noted. The sterilization bag is one-time use and should be discarded after use.

Dental instruments can also be sterilized without special packaging, but in this case they must be used within one hour.

How to use the sterilization bag (basic rules):

Products with damaged packaging must be checked before use;

The sterilization packaging must check the production date and expiration date, and expired products cannot be used;

Make sure there is a sterilization indicator (the color of the indicator must match the color in the instructions);

The content, date, and time of sterilization must be marked on the package, and a signature must be left;

Sterilize in the recommended mode according to the type of sterilizer used;

It is necessary to store the sterilized packaging utensils in a dry and clean cabinet, avoid sunlight, the temperature is +10 ~ +30 degrees, and the humidity does not exceed 50%.

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