Germgard’s new room temperature gas sterilization system has been independently tested and the results recently released. An article in Bio-Medicine on August 5, 2009 states that Germgard’s six minute sterilization process really only takes three minutes! That’s twice as fast as the company originally claimed earlier in the year. The tests revealed that 3 minutes was enough to kill 100 percent of Geobacillus Stearothermophilus spores in the test media, the standard for testing surgical instrument sterilizers.
Part of the reason for the better than expected results is that the company continues to optimize the process. They are still discovering the true potential of this breakthrough technology. The gas cycle can be run twice to create a more than adequate sterilization redundancy for lumen devices such as endoscopes. The double dose is also effective for prion inactivation on neurologic instrumentation.
These sterilization speeds are unprecedented. More to the point, the speed does not sacrifice efficacy. The company expects their innovative system to revolutionize the entire sterilization industry. With the release of these independent test results, they now expect a slow but steady replacement of the majority of existing autoclaves with this new ultra-fast gas system. In short, current technology has suddenly become obsolete.
How It Works
Earlier in the year, very few details about the new system were forthcoming. That is probably because this sterilization system relies upon a proprietary gas medium that is different than any other formula in current use. For now, it remains a close guarded secret; but some details about the process have finally been revealed. As the technology becomes widely commercialized, more information will no doubt begin to surface. Meanwhile, application trials and tests continue.
The gas does not last long and yet is safe to use. It breaks down before the exposure pouch is opened. The ease of use becomes obvious when you realize that preparation time is including in the three minute time frame for sterilization results. There are no high temperatures involved, no presoak, no pre-wrapping of instruments, no cool down period, and no need for a drying phase. It’s simply a quick exposure to the gas medium that leaves the instruments ready for use in surgery.
This is all extremely good news. Costs involved in using this system are low, especially when compared to current sterilization technologies. The process can easily be automated, making its use even simpler. This in turn will cut down on labor costs and create enormous time efficiencies in load monitoring and scheduling.
The potential advantages to the healthcare industry are clear. Operating costs can be drastically lowered and less instrument inventory will likely be needed. Basically, normal sterilization results can be obtained through a process that is even faster than Flash sterilization. There are also indications that the process is less damaging to sensitive instruments than even the methods recommended by manufacturers.
These are the relatively early stages for a product that has a yet to make it to the marketplace. Caution is prudent since there are undoubtedly still some unknown factors. Anytime you search for an autoclave or sterilizer, you want it to be a tried and true piece of equipment. Request our free report to discover what current solutions are available.