The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers medical devices like biopsy forceps, surgical blades, retractors, and other surgical implements critical items because they directly contact sterile body fluids and tissues. Since their use can cause disease transmission if microorganisms like bacteria and algae contaminate them, sterilization is essential in guaranteeing safety. One of the best and most popular ways of achieving that end involves using Ethylene Oxide (EO). Keep reading to learn more about EO sterilization and reasons to use it.

What is EO Sterilization?

EO or EtO sterilization is the process of disinfecting and decontaminating healthcare products using Ethylene Oxide, a colorless gas. EO has numerous outstanding qualities, the ability to disrupt cellular reproductive and metabolism processes in disease-causing microbes like bacteria, ultimately killing them. That is why it's considered ideal for sterilizing a wide range of medical products, including catheters, wound care dressings, custom procedure packs, and multi-lumen tubing products.   

Why Opt for EO Sterilization?

Consider using EO sterilization in your facility for the following reasons.

1.       Low heat exposure

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many devices used in the health industry are susceptible to faulty functioning when exposed to high heat levels. That is why reputable manufacturers explicitly outline the heat tolerance levels on their products' packaging. If you subject a particular product to heat levels that exceed the recommended max, expect to encounter issues like erratic operation, deformation, and reduced longevity. Fortunately, EO sterilization doesn't expose medical devices to extreme temperatures likely to affect their efficiency. That is why experts use it when heat-sensitive products like catheters are involved.

2.       Material compatibility

Most medical devices are made from metals, rubber, ceramics, or plastic. Each of these has unique properties and poses different challenges. For instance, when a metal like steel is used to manufacture equipment, moisture becomes a threat because it encourages corrosion. Besides, electronic equipment shouldn't be exposed to high humidity levels at all costs because they will break down. The good news is since EO sterilization decimates moisture exposure, making it a suitable solution for most materials and moisture-sensitive equipment.

3.       Optimum results

If you need a sterilization method that is highly effective and less likely to damage your tools and devices, look no further than EtO sterilization. Ethylene Oxide gas has excellent diffusion, which enables it to effectively sterilize medical products with multi-layered packaging or crevices that are hard to reach using any other sterilization technique. Besides, since EO permeates sealed cartons and films, it is the best option for disinfecting products already in their final packaging.

For more information on EO sterilization services, contact a professional near you.