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All About Autoclave

Posted by Admin on September, 29, 2014

Lab autoclave is specialized equipment designed to deliver heat under pressure to a chamber, with the intent of sterilizing the contents of the chamber. Sterilization is the process of total destruction of microorganisms present in the contents.

Autoclaves utilize heat, pressure and steam hence the risk of potential harm is great. Therefore one must wear the right protective gear like:
  • Latex or nitrile gloves prevent contact with contaminated material, while heat resistant gloves (asbestos free) must be used when loading and unloading the autoclave
  • Safety eye and face protection as it will minimize the risk of facial steam burns
  • Lab coats must be used to protect wrists and forearms

The can and cannot
Items that can be autoclaved are:
  • Culture dishes and related devices
  • Stocks and culture of infectious material
  • Contaminated solid items such as: pipettes, petri dishes, gloves
  • Discarded live and attenuated vaccines
  • Items for sterilizations such as; media, glassware, aqueous solutions

Items that cannot be autoclaved are:
  • Materials containing: volatile, solvents, chlorinated compounds or corrosive
  • Material contaminated with chemotherapeutic agents
  • Plastics
  • Radioactive material

Lack of attentiveness during the autoclave process can cause harm in terms of:
  • Lost experimental data
  • Down time
  • Personal injury
  • Expensive and/or length repairs
  • Improper disposal to landfill resulting in regulatory violation

Steps that should be taken during packaging and loading depending upon pattern, use and control, are:
  • Sterilize outer surfaces of the autoclave
  • Check door gaskets for wear
  • Clean screen leading to discharge line
  • Clean interior walls with trisodium phosphate, other mild detergent or as recommended by the manufacturer. Never use a steel wool or strong abrasive.
  • Check primary and secondary containers for integrity (cracks, stress fractures, etc.)
  • Consult manual to determine other suggested activities

Each autoclave will have its own precise instruction for its use therefore it is essential to follow the autoclave manufacturer’s recommendation and each user must get hands-on training on its use to avoid any mishap.

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This entry was posted on September, 29, 2014 at 16 : 46 pm and is filed under Autoclave. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response from your own site.

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