Need Sterilization In A Medical Office? Understanding EO Sterilization Treatments

If you lease a building for medical use, you need to hire a sterilization service along with your regular custodial service. Sterilization is important so that pathogens aren't spread from patient to patient. Sterilization methods go beyond cleaning and scrubbing, as these methods destroy all microbial forms—like bacterial spores.

There are different types of sterilization methods, like autoclaving, flash sterilization, and chemical vapor sterilization. Each method has its pros and cons as some methods could damage certain plastics, metals, etc., and other methods are safer but take a longer time to be completed. Read on to learn a little bit more about EO sterilization specifically.

What is EO Sterilization?

Ethylene oxide, or EO, is a type of chemical sterilization where a low-temperature gas sterilizes medical equipment by disrupting the cellular metabolism of microorganisms.

What Items are Cleaned with this Method?

The main advantage of EO sterilization is that it can be used on moisture-sensitive or heat-sensitive medical equipment without damaging the material. While every medical facility will be different, EO sterilization could be used for

  • devices with electronic material

  • catheters

  • tubing products

  • stents

  • single-use products

The chemical can also penetrate packaging, so medical supplies could already be in their final sealed packaging and be able to be sterilized.

Are There Downsides?

Again, every sterilization method has pros and cons, so some facilities use a combination of chemical, heat, autoclaving, etc. EO sterilization takes a bit longer to complete than other processes and can be dangerous to patients and staff if used incorrectly. That's why it's important to use an EO treatment service who understands how to safely sterilize items. Services should follow the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guidelines and Clean Air Act regulations for handling EO to ensure that the facility and public are safe.

What are the Advantages of an EO Sterilization Service?

An EO sterilization service is also beneficial because these companies may be able to sterilize equipment at a completely different facility and then return the equipment back to the medical office, thus reducing chemical risk factors.

Some medical providers may worry about disrupted care to their patients because of sterilization equipment shortages. However, an EO sterilization service is beneficial because they often work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and manufacturers to anticipate and prevent such shortages in the sterilization process.

To learn more about EO sterilization services, contact a professional in your area today to learn more