In general, the standard operating procedure or "SOP" refers to the decontamination of biohazardous waste and the destruction of microorganisms on microbiological equipment.
The standard operating procedure helps to pinpoint the waste materials and ensures the sterilisation process is performed effectively.
Please note, the SOP is designed to work with all autoclaves and has to be used for the purposes of decontamination.
What the User Should Know
The user will have specific responsibilities when it comes to the task at hand. These need to be noted well in advance and should be kept in mind throughout the autoclaving process.
Users are expected to operate the autoclave based on these specific requirements listed in the SOP.
If not, this will be in direct contention to the rules of decontamination while handling certain infectious waste materials.
To ensure everything is performed as expected, it is best to continually test the materials for safety purposes.
Procedure for Autoclaving
Let's begin by understanding how the SOP has a direct role to play in the autoclaving procedure.
Autoclaving will begin with the following steps:
1) Placement of waste materials (to be autoclaved) in a designated pan
2) Use a distinct test strip along the outside of the bag
3) Grab the pan and set it up inside the autoclave. Please note this should be done diligently with the appropriate measurements taken in advance (i.e. leaving 2-3 inches of space for steam to move around)
4) Make sure to set up the autoclave at a temperature of 120 degrees Celcius or above for an hour.
During these stages, it's important to keep tabs on the temperature at all times and ensure it is maintained at a set psi of 15-16.
This is the only way to ensure it is conducted in an appropriate manner and works out as intended.
Otherwise, the parameters may end up going against the main purpose of the autoclaving process.
It is best to start higher with regards to the temperature and have it slowly come down over the course of an hour.
After the hour has concluded, it is time to look at the chamber to see how things have progressed and what the pressure readings are saying.
This offers insight into the materials and how they're been managed.
The test strip will offer a proper indication of whether or not the bag has cooled enough. Once it has been done, the waste can be moved into a separate bag and tied with a twist tie.
If done wisely, the waste will now be ready to be removed as if it were any other type of waste.
Throughout the process, it is best to focus on how infectious waste materials are progressing and whether adjustments have to be made based on the environment.
Please remember, each situation will vary and this has to be taken into account with the SOP.
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