Validation by steam sterilization of reusable medical devices requires careful attention to many parameters that directly influence whether or not complete sterilization occurs. Complex implant/instrument tray systems have a variety of configurations and components. Geobacillus stearothermophilus biological indicators (BIs) are used in overkill cycles to to simulate worst case conditions and are intended to provide substantial sterilization assurance. Survival of G. stearothermophilus spores was linked to steam access and size of load in the chamber. By a small and reproducible margin, it was determined that placement of the trays in a rigid container into minimally loaded chambers were more difficult to completely sterilize than maximally loaded chambers.
Authors: Daniel Prince, Jozef Mastej, Isabel Hoverman, Raja Chatterjee, Diana Easton, and Daniela Behzad