Chemical Indicators for Sterilization
What Is Chemical Indicator?
Chemical indicator utilize a unique chemical during sterilization process to verify a secure and proper sterilization by assessing critical variables including time, temperature, and pressure.
Chemical indicator is very important for quality control management to provide early indication of sterilization error due to the equipment malfunction or technician error. A common chemical indicator will react to an improper sterilization by using color changes/marks or pass/fail window.
These chemical indicators can be used in all types of sterilizers and autoclaves including for steam, ethylene oxide and dry heat sterilization. It can either be placed inside or outside of the autoclave bag depending on the types of the chemical indicator and its application.
How does Chemical Indicators Work?
Chemical indicators use one or more chemicals that helps to measure the parameters of temperature, time, and pressure during sterilization process. Chemical indicator may presence in solid form and change in physical to liquid state and change it color. There is a chemical indicator utilizing more than one indicator ink that that detect multiple parameters and the result can be easily seen as the color changes from the indicator inks are visible to human eyes.
Chemical indicators are commonly used in healthcare, research, and industrial facilities and recognized by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure effective sterilization practice and proper instrument sterilization, cleaning, and decontamination of the biohazard samples.
Below are several types of chemical indicators available:
1. Air Removal (Bowie-Dick Type) Tests
2. Multi Variable Indicators and Integrators
3. Process Indicators and Labels
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