Sterility assurance, Biology

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All the efforts that go into the preparation of instruments are futile if the sterilization process itself is not successful. There is no way of seeing that instruments are sterile by simply observing the sterilizers and packs, even though a chemical or mechanical indicator may have changed. An indicator such as autoclave tape may change colour when exposed to heat, but there is a possibility that the heat was not present for the proper length of time or that there was inadequate pressure. Indicators that go on the outside of the packs are useful for identifying processed and unprocessed packs. Failure of sterilization can occur due to mechanical malfunction of the sterilizer or due to operator error. There are several methods to provide assurance of sterility.

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