STERIS Corporation has launched the Amsco Chimeron Small Steam Sterilizers (16x16x26 inches and 20x20x38 inches) with prevacuum and SFPP cycles, the most innovative small steam sterilizers to date. Designed with customer input, the Chimeron line achieves meaningful new benchmarks for compliance, quality, productivity and user ease.
“The speed of life in the OR is a breakneck pace these days,” says Marie LaFrance, senior product manager in the Infection Prevention Technologies division at STERIS. “Surgical throughput and turnaround are being optimized to provide as many procedures as possible each day. In addition, the speed of surgical innovation offers new procedures and instruments that must be incorporated, and corresponding guidelines and standards continue to change to account for new processes. Surgical and sterile processing departments need sterilizers that can keep pace with changing instrument types and weights, new guidelines from manufacturers, and current hospital protocols. This is where the new Chimeron systems offer distinctive benefits.”
The new Amsco Chimeron Small Steam Sterilizers are engineered to be fully compliant with current steam sterilization standards. For example, the newest Association for the Advancement of Surgical Instrumentation (AAMI) standard includes guidance for processing sets up to 25 pounds in weight. In support of these new standards, the Chimeron systems are validated to accommodate up to 75 pounds (three 25-pound sets) per load in the 20x20 sterilizer. There is also room for specialized loaner sets and larger instruments such as retractors, bariatric instruments and orthopedic devices. AAMI also suggests testing lumened process challenge devices, so the Chimeron prevacuum and steam-flush-pressure-pulse (SFPP) cycles have both been validated for porous items. In addition, as recommended by AAMI, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Joint Commission and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this system replaces ‘flash sterilization’ terminology with ‘immediate use’ language. Validated immediate-use prevacuum and gravity cycles are now available, and cycles can be customized and named by the user.
Although these are categorized as ‘small’ sterilizers, their capacity is outstanding. The 20x20 model has up to three shelves with improved horizontal clearance and vertical spacing. Up to 75 pounds per cycle can be sterilized in the 20-inch models, and 50 pounds per cycle can be sterilized in the 16-inch models. An additional wider intermediate shelf is available for the 16-inch which enables the chamber to accommodate two large sets. This increased capacity takes up no additional room in the department, however, since the system has the same footprint as earlier models. Also, the Teflon®* sheathed easy-glide shelves allow fast and easy loading and unloading, to streamline processing. In addition, the Chimeron foot pedal opens the door hands-free to help avoid load contamination, and saves steps in the loading/unloading processes.
Chimeron systems have a multitude of improvements that help make them safe and very user-friendly. For example, the front panel was redesigned and has a non-heat-conducting door surround for safety when unloading hot items from the chamber. Other safety features include a door that stops upon obstruction, and a control lockout feature that prevents the activation of a cycle if the door isn’t sealed.
Many enhancements have been added to make the Chimeron systems very easy to operate. The wider shelf clearance makes it easier to load and unload larger sets (bariatric, Bookwalter, ortho sets). There is also a built-in flush/drain for steam generator units that extends their useful life and makes maintenance easier. The printer is located at an ergonomic height to avoid strain, and the enhanced control panel has a large countdown display that’s visible from 15 feet away for easy scanning and workflow planning. The Chimeron systems also have quick, intuitive control programming that gets cycles started faster, and Chimeron control panel messages are displayed in complete phrases, without confusing codes.
Chimeron technology is not only a distinctive value in itself; it is also cost-effective to use. Several of its features were specifically designed to support highly efficient, cost-minimized operational life. Specifically, Chimeron software has been optimized to reduce steam and cooling water usage per pound of instruments processed. Also, the Chimeron steam-activated gasket is the only one on the market warranted for two years, and no lubrication is required to maintain its performance. In addition, the SFPP cycle can eliminate the need for Bowie Dick testing, which potentially reduces the daily testing cost for one system by as much as $1,216 annually and frees up staff time usually needed for this chore. Finally, the connectivity to ProConnect® Response Center proactive remote monitoring helps optimize efficient operation and reduce unplanned maintenance. The ProConnect program also archives all cycle and maintenance records for easy retrieval and reporting, which saves paperwork time for staff.