FAQ - Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission in a Hospital Setting

Tuttnauer’s HSG autoclaves with the new virus protection cycle secure that any harmful virus, including Coronavirus, are destroyed before they are released back to the environment, during the air removal phase.
Maimon Asaraf
June 8, 2020

1. Why is air removal critical for medical Autoclaves?

Autoclaves use steam under pressure as a sterilizing agent for reprocessing contaminated materials. Over 99% of the air in the chamber must be removed before heating and sterilization to optimize steam penetration and contact with items being sterilized.

2. Why is pre-sterilization air removal necessary?

Air removal is critical for improved steam penetration. Over time medical instruments have become more sophisticated, and there was a need to confirm steam penetration to the deepest and most complex parts of the tools to verify sterilization.

It's quite simple: Imagine a very long and narrow tube that needs to be sterilized in the autoclave. Steam, the sterilization agent, cannot penetrate long and narrow tubes or wrapped instruments. Without the critical stage of pre-vacuum air removal, the sterilization process would be compromised.

3. Should air be treated before it is removed from the autoclave at the pre-sterilization stage?

According to several studies, COVID-19 appears to remain airborne longer than initially suspected. A new study, published in medRxiv, suggests that the novel Coronavirus could stay in the air for up to three hours. The research also notes that on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel, it can remain live for up to three days, on copper surfaces for four hours and on carboard for up to 24 hours.

4. How is the air treated?

Until now, only highly sophisticated laboratory autoclaves with a unique Bio-Hazard system have treated the air removed from the autoclave at the pre-sterilization phase. Indeed, processing the air released into the environment at the pre-vacuum stage is not required by regulation. Nevertheless, Tuttnauer has added safety measures to its medical autoclaves, providing an extra layer of environmental protection to hospitals, Sterile Processing Departments (CSSD), and outpatient clinics. Tuttnauer's HSG line of medical autoclaves is now available with a virus protection cycle that addresses the problem of contaminated pre-vacuum air removal.

5. What's the advantage?

The HSG autoclave with the new virus protection cycle treats air in the autoclave chamber before the preliminary air removal stage. This secures that any harmful virus, including Coronavirus, are destroyed before they are released back to the environment, during the air removal phase.

This innovative cycle was developed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. During periods of Pandemics, there is a need to minimize the contamination risk, particularly in outpatient clinics and medical facilities. This Autoclave is the perfect solution.

6. Where can I learn more about the HSG autoclave and the coronavirus cycle?

There are a few options:

HSG autoclave ideal for Coronavirus sterilization

About Tuttnauer

Tuttnauer provides end to end sterile processing solutions for hospitals, clinics, medical and outpatient centers. Product range includes; autoclave sterilizers, washer-disinfectors, indicators, and additional sterile processing products. The HSG autoclave with the new virus protection shield is an advanced autoclave developed for medical facilities and medical practices by providing an extra layer of protection. The HSG Autoclave goes above and beyond the standard. The HSG autoclave meets all your sterilization needs. It creates cyclic parameters that accommodate the most challenging loads, ensuring load sterility, efficient drying, helping medical professionals achieve today's challenging workloads and provide superior patient care, without risking the staff or cross patient contamination.

About author

Maimon Asaraf
Maimon Asaraf

Maimon Asaraf has 25 years of experience at Tuttnauer, one of the industry leaders in sterilization and infection control. As chief training specialist, Maimon has trained thousands of Tuttnauer engineers all over the world, who are now proficient in installing and servicing tabletop autoclaves, laboratory benchtop autoclaves, vertical autoclaves, large capacity autoclaves, pre vacuum sterilizers, low temperature hydrogen peroxide plasma sterilizers, bedpan washers and washer-disinfectors, for the dental, medical, laboratory, and pharmaceutical industries.

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