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  • Writer's pictureDurham Autoclaves

Mastering Your Benchtop Steriliser: A Practical Guide for Daily Checks


A woman standing infront of an autoclave holding a thank you pack

In the busy world of healthcare, a well-functioning benchtop steriliser is essential. To empower your practice and ensure the longevity of your equipment, performing daily checks is a must.


Here's a comprehensive guide to streamline your daily and weekly checks, offering a proactive approach to identify issues before they escalate.


An autoclave on a counter top

1. Safety First: Daily Visual Checks

Every day your practice is open, dedicate a few minutes to inspect crucial components. Check the door gasket for tears, ensuring an airtight seal. Examine the internal chamber for any signs of damage. Verify that the door locks and unlocks seamlessly. Lastly, inspect the internal water tanks for potential cracks.

 

2. Automatic Control Test (N Class)

This daily test is crucial for N-class benchtop sterilisers. It ensures the unit maintains sterilisation time for the required duration. If the test passes, log it and proceed with your day! If it fails, troubleshoot by checking the positioning of the TST on the middle shelf. Confirm the TST strips are within their expiry date. If issues persist, it's time to give us a call!

 


An autoclave product image

3. Residual Air Test

This test ensures the unit won't open if residual air is present. A critical safety measure, a passing result indicates the chamber is securely sealed. If it fails, double-check the placement of the Helix device on the middle shelf. If the problem persists, consider replacing the Helix device and rerun the test. Persistent issues? It's time to give us a call!

 

4. Steam Penetration Test (Helix Test)

This test confirms that a vacuum is established, and the sterilisation temperature/time is achieved. If it passes, log the result and proceed. If it fails, troubleshoot by adjusting the Helix device's position and rerun the test. If persistent issues arise, check the Helix's age and replace if over a year old. Call us if problems persist.

 

5. Air Leakage Test or Vacuum Test

Designed to identify micro-fractures in the chamber wall, this test ensures the unit's structure. If the weekly vacuum test fails, inspect the door gasket for wear, replace if necessary, and rerun the test. If it passes, log it and continue. If failures persist, don't hesitate to reach out for professional assistance.

 


The inside of an autoclave

By incorporating these simple checks into your daily routine, you not only ensure the safety and efficiency of your benchtop steriliser but also catch potential issues before they impact your practice.


Remember, Durham Autoclaves is just a call away to provide expert support and keep your sterilisation processes running seamlessly. 

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