ST. PAUL, Minn. — 3M Health Care announces the addition of a new Web site (www.3M.com/packandloadcontrol), to its suite of free, objective educational tools offered through 3M™ Attest™ Sterile U Online. Focused on the topic of steam sterilization load and pack control monitoring devices, the new Web site provides clear answers and facts on the differences and implications of using biological indicators, Class 5 integrating indicators, and Class 6 emulating indicators for monitoring.
According to Martha Young, senior technical service specialist for 3M Sterilization Assurance, “The new site allows sterilization professionals the opportunity to gather details on recommended practices and understand the distinctions between biological and chemical indicators.”
To address confusion in the marketplace on how and when to use the various steam sterilization load and pack control monitoring devices, the new Web site offers in depth details on standards and guidelines. Such information found on the site includes:
Standards organizations, such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recognize biological indicators as the only true measure of sterilization process lethality.
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) has recommended practices for monitoring and releasing steam sterilization loads utilizing biological indicators and/or a Class 5 integrating indicator in the appropriate process challenge device. Implants should be quarantined until the biological indicator is negative.
In the U.S., Class 6 emulating indicators are the newest addition to the chemical indicator category. Similar to other internal pack indicators, Class 6 emulating indicators use ink technology to confirm specific exposure conditions have been met.
Young continued, “I encourage all sterilization professionals to visit the Web site and spend some time reading the information that’s available. This site is a free tool to help professionals become better informed on various recommended practices and performance differences across load and pack monitoring devices.”
The Pack and Load Control Web site is the second sterilization-related educational Web site launched by 3M Health Care this year. The first site, www.3m.com/everyloadmonitoring, was launched in May and provides compelling reasons why sterile processing and infection control leaders should consider this best practice to provide their patients with the highest standard of care.
Source: 3M Sterilization Assurance