Hepatitis C is a new epidemic in Germany ", says professor Stephan Petrasch (director/conductor of the hospital for internal medicine at the clinical center Duisburg). Even the experts of the European authority EMCDDA (European monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) warn for the hepatitis C epidemic disease.
In Germany approximately one million humans are chronically infected with the hepatitis viruses B or C (approx. 500,000 HBV / approx. 500,000 HCV). The hepatitis C-virus is responsible for 50 - 75% of all liver carcinomas and for two thirds of all liver transplantations in Europe. So far there is still no vaccine against hepatitis C viruses.
For this reason it is particularly important to analyze and interrupt potential transmission paths for pathogens. In practice among other things medical instruments are a transmission path, which is deemed to be eliminated.
Because of the constantly raising requirements in the minimal invasive surgery, the used instruments are constantly getting smaller and more complex to minimize the burden of the patients. At the same time the requirements rise for the preparation of the medical products.

The special attention with the preparation of medical products is the disinfection and sterilization of the instruments. If the medical product were submitted to a validated disinfection procedure, it can be assumed that the disinfected instruments are free from disease-causing germs. With a validated sterilization procedure the instruments are free from anyable germs.

The condition for this is the correct choice of the disinfection and sterilization method (chemical or thermal disinfection, sterilization with hot-air or steam, formaldehyde or EO gas) aligned for the referable instruments.
Experts agree, that in medical practices and clinics the choice of mechanically cleaning and disinfection, as well as steam sterilization (sterilization with damp heat) should be virtued in relation to other procedures mentioned to be given, since the process of steam sterilization is controlled very well, exposes very few dangers for the operator, and the effect of steam sterilizing is very fast and occurs reliably.

Nevertheless, it is important to supervise the steam sterilization process and the different sterilization cycles with appropriate load control systems.
„Trough the application of a procedure for the reduction of bacterial count doesn’t necessarily mean that the sterility of the treated goods is guaranteed. With this the handling with Sterilizers is the obligation of the operator to incumbent proof that the selected procedure is effective (burden of proof) “; (Source: Karl Heinz Wallhäuser: Practice of the sterilization, disinfection preservation).

The company Stericop offers different biological and chemical systems for monitoring and checking steam sterilization processes.

Chemical Control systems

SMU-LC (Sterilization Monitoring Unit – Load Control)

A single use control system that monitors the sterilization cycles at 121°C (250°F) and/or 134°C (273°F) for complex sterile or hollow medical instruments in steam sterilizers with fractionated pre-vacuum (category B) according to EN 13060 and large-size sterilizers according to EN 285.

SMU-LCR (Sterilization Monitoring Unit – Load Control Reausable)
Reusable system for monitoring steam sterilization for complex hollow instruments.
Usable for sterilizers with sterilization cycle B according to EN 13060 and large sterilizers according to EN 285.

SteamSensor
The indicator system class 5 according to DIN EN 11140-1 and class D according to EN 867-1 is to monitor the sterilization cycles at 121°C (250°F) and/or 134°C (273°F). Applicable in sterilizers class N, S and B according to EN 13060.

Bowie & Dick Test
Disposable test pack for the daily Bowie & Dick-Test according to ISO 11140-4.
Size: 8 cm x 6,5 cm x 3 cm (L x W x H)

 


Biological control systems

SMU-BI (Sterilization Monitoring Unit – Biological Indicator)
Ready to use control system (bio indicator Geobacillus stearothermophilus ATCC 7953) to examine the micro-biological sterilization process for complex sterile or hollow medical instruments in steam sterilizers with fractionated pre-vacuum (category B) according to EN 13060 and large-size sterilizers according to EN 285.