Packaging instruments (e.g., wrapped or container systems) allow penetration of the sterilizing agent and maintain sterility of the processed item after sterilization. There is an international standard for Packaging the item(s). Additionally, general recommendations are provided regarding the preparation of items for sterilization in the ISO 11607 standard.
Packaging materials should be evaluated prior to adoption and purchase. The packaging of the instruments should be allowed that the air to be completely removed during the sterilization process. Packaging materials and seals should have the following general characteristics:
Allow the sterilizing agent to penetrate and reach all surface areas of the item(s) to be sterilized.
Maintain the sterility of the item up until its use; perform as a reliable barrier to microorganisms.
Packaging and container systems for steam sterilization should be able to withstand the physical conditions without breaking down and also allow adequate drying.
Be permeable to the sterilizing agent and moisture.
Allow the escape and removal of the sterilizing agent at the end of the sterilization process
Before placing packaged instruments in the sterilizer, at a minimum, include the following information on the label:
- Sterilizer used
- Cycle or load number
- Date of sterilization
- Expiration date, if applicable
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