Autoclaves must be tested before they can be used in services. They also have to be tested periodically to know the effectiveness. In every 40 hours, autoclaves used to sterilize pathogens, tissue, non-human blood, samples, and other things must be checked. If the autoclaves are used to sterile other items, the periodicity for testing must be done every 6 months.
The method of testing the autoclaves are through testing them using indicator kit. Test indicator kit uses bacteria spores to test the autoclaves. Usually the spores test kit requires 56-60 ° C incubation. It must be done along with non-autoclaved control vial. The surviving spores grow in the incubation phase.
If you are going to take your autoclaves into service, you ought to have test spore vials. She spore vials must be placed at the top, bottom, front, center, and rear sides of the chamber. If you are doing periodic testing for already in use autoclave, you can place the spore vial in the center of the chamber.
Pay attention to the storage of the spore vials. The spore vials should not be frozen because each batch has expiration date. Therefore, you have to look at the expiration date before you use the vials. Remember that you cannot use vials that are expired.
Maintenance records are also needed to know how many times you have performed maintenance. The records are also useful to know the problems of your autoclaves. Usually the records contains information such as date, time, contact information, biohazardous material, temperature, pressure, time lengths, and many more. If you have autoclaves that are connected to a printer, you can print-out the record easily.
You also need to make written operation procedure that includes appropriate parameters of sterilization by using spore vials test, the time of sterilization process, identification of containers, cleaning procedure of the autoclave and also the work areas that must be disinfected.