Short-cycle sterilization effective for sequential same-day cataract surgeries
Use of unwrapped, short-cycle sterilization adhering to the manufacturers’ instruction for use (IFU) of two popular sterilizers is effective for sequential same-day cataract procedures, a study has shown.
The study tested a STATIM 2000 sterilizer with the STATIM metal cassette and an AMSCO Century V116 prevacuum sterilizer using a Case Medical SteriTite container rigid container using phaco tips and handpieces from three different manufacturers.
The highly resistant Geobacillus stearothermophilus was inoculated into biological indicators, and each sterility verification test was done in triplicate. To simulate prolonged storage, both wrapped and contained loads were tested with full dry cycles and a 7-day storage time.
The investigators also tested short cycles (3.0–3.5-minute exposure times) for unwrapped and contained loads after only 1 minute of dry time to simulate use on a consecutive case in adherence with the manufacturers’ IFU.
Further studies were conducted to show whether any moisture present in the load containing phaco handpieces postprocessing was sterile and would affect the sterility of the contents after a 3-minute transit/storage time. Such procedure approximated the upper limit of time needed to transfer a containment device to the operating room.
Whether or not the full dry phase was interrupted, growth of the target organism was negative in all inoculated test samples from both sterilizers. Results were also negative for pipetted postprocessing moisture samples and swabs of the handpieces after a 3-minute transit/storage time.
“A full drying phase is not necessary when the instruments are kept within the covered sterilizer containment device for prompt use on a sequential case,” the investigators said.