Spore Test Autoclave Services: What you Need to Know About the Process and its Necessity

Spore test autoclave services are offered to verify that an autoclave is performing according to requirements. As the title suggests, this involves running a package of living spores through the autoclave. If the spores are killed at the end of the autoclaving cycle, confirmed by checking if the chamber is completely sterile, then it is passed that the particular autoclave is serviceable and safe to use for sterilization of medical equipment and tools.

Spore Test Autoclave Services – The Process and Justification

Autoclaves only work under very extreme conditions of high pressure and temperatures. Therefore, it is important to constantly check to ensure that they are able to sterilize equipment without fail. Else, lives will be at risk. This is why spore testing is a mandatory process in virtually every medical facility.

Most spore testing facilities make use of a tissue culture of Geobacillus stearothermophilus, one of the most heat tolerant bacteria known in science. If a particular autoclave proves capable of sterilizing these bacteria, then it is safe to assume that it will be just as deadly in getting rid of any type of disease carrying germs.

Step by Step Guide to Spore Test an Autoclave

Here is a step by step guide to follow when using spore test to confirm an autoclave is functional.

1. Preparation: Some autoclave manufacturers require a very specific preparatory regimen to be used before testing if an autoclave is functioning. Try to follow these carefully before carrying out the actual test.

2. Sterilization: Place the bacterial spores in the autoclave’s sterilization chamber. Again, you need to follow the guidelines provided by both the manufacturer of the autoclave as well as the supplier of the bacterial spores. Setting the autoclave to the standard conditions of temperature and pressure, sterilize the contents for an hour.

3. Post sterilization: Wait for the autoclave to depressurize and cool down. Remove the spores.

4. Incubation: Set up a bacterial culture by spreading the spores on a piece of agar. Incubate the culture according to manufacturer instructions. If you do not own an incubator, you can buy a spore test which you can ship back to the supplier for incubation and confirmation of results.

5. Confirm test results: After the period specified by the supplier of the test spores has elapsed, check your incubated agar for bacterial growth. This will be the confirmation whether your autoclave is capable of sterilization or not.

Is Spore Testing an Autoclave Foolproof?

If an autoclave is capable of passing the spore test successfully, this is proof enough that it is functioning according to expectations. However, there is always the slight chance that an autoclave will malfunction in between tests and this may still prove dangerous. Moreover, improper usage of an autoclave such as overpacking it with equipment or placing unsuitable things in it may also prove deadly.

Spore test autoclave services are essential for medical facilities to guarantee that their medial tools and equipment are completely sterile before they are used on patients. While spore testing provides you with assurance of the effectiveness of your autoclave, it is still important to ensure that your autoclave is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions every time you carry out a sterilization procedure.