General Principles of Packaging

This refers to objects that are sterilized and later stored, such as instruments, drapes, accessories, or devices.

The purpose of any type of packaging system is to hold these objects and protect them from contamination by dirt, dust and microorganisms.

The package should preserve the sterility of its content until the time it is opened, which is when it will be used in a sterile area.

Some materials undergo high-level disinfection and are stored for later use, such as: laryngoscopes and anesthesia masks. After the disinfection process, these materials should be kept in a simple plastic bag in order to avoid their recontamination.

The packaging material selected and used should maintain the sterility of the package contents after sterilization.

The preparation and conditioning of packages should be carried out in such a way that the sterilization process is effective (e.g., the sterilizer [ethylene oxide, steam or dry heat] should have the capacity to penetrate the package and make contact with the object to be sterilized).

The objects should be packaged in such a way that the wrapping can be opened and the object removed without contamination and while maximizing the convenience of the user.

The preparation and content of a package should respond to the need for use, ease of use and safety of the procedure.

A package should contain the necessary amount of material for a single procedure or visit.

A package should be designed to permit the easy use of its content, in terms of its size, internal arrangement, aseptic opening, etc.

Packaging materials

Factors to take into account when selecting the packaging material:

  • It should meet national and/or international standards or another regulation that is in effect.
  • It should be adequate for the method of sterilization used and should permit the penetration of the sterilizing agent.
  • It should be a reliable biological barrier and should not be a vehicle for bacteria.
  • It should be durable.
  • It should be efficient when used.
  • It should have integrity.
  • It should be resistant to abrasion, breakage and moisture.
  • It should be water repellent.
  • It should be liquid-resistant.
  • It should be easy to open.
  • It should be flexible.
  • It should be free of even the smallest perforations.
  • It should be free from toxins or stains and should not release lint or fibers.
  • It should not react with the sterilizing agent.
  • It should be permeable to the sterilizing agent.
  • It should not react with the material that will be packaged.
  • It should not release any type of odor.
  • It should be inexpensive and readily available.

The use of the following should be prohibited:

  • Metal drum trays.
  • Newspaper.
  • Packages made from recycled material.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023


Sterilization manual for health centers. Silvia I. Acosta-Gnass,Valeska de.

Please Check out file at the following link

Preparing and packaging materials

Cleaning Your Sterilizer

Ultrasonic washer

Central sterile services department (CSSD)

Personal protective equipment