Insulating Hospital Sterilization Autoclaves Increases Workplace Safety
This article was written by Suzanne Rowe Barrett
What you’ll find in a hospital sterilization room can only be compared to a room full of extremely large pressure cookers.
Autoclaves work in a similar way to a pressure cooker, but they're typically used in a more extreme form of cooking: to blast medical equipment with steam long enough to fully sterilize and kill all bacteria. The extra pressure in an autoclave means that water boils at a temperature higher than its normal boiling point—roughly 20°C hotter—so it holds and carries more heat and kills germs more effectively.
Autoclaving is a bit like cooking in that safety is all-important. In using high-pressure, high-temperature steam, you must be especially careful when opening an autoclave to ensure there is no sudden release of pressure that could potentially cause a steam accident. Similarly, the exterior of the autoclave should be properly insulated, as shown in the image to above. Without proper insulation, a significant amount of heat loss and energy waste will occur. However, a traditional hard pipe insulation is not a feasible option for autoclaves. Thermaxx removable and reusable insulation jackets allow for easy servicing and access to the autoclaves as necessary. Additionally, they are custom designed to allow for the many “cut outs” required that make removable and reusable insulation jackets fit properly.
When Thermaxx is called in to a hospital for an heat loss survey, we work to spot both energy saving and safety opportunities, the autoclave room is always at the top of our list. Insulation jackets provide thermal savings and reduce ambient temperature. Worried about the cost? We will provide you with very clear ROI information, ensuring that this investment will pay for itself. Additionally, Thermaxx does the leg work to identify and take advantage of any custom gas utility incentives from your local gas company for insulation upgrades.
Be sure to strike while the autoclave is hot and give us a call today!
Want more information about how removable insulation could improve safety and reduce utility bills at your facility? Contact us today to learn more!
Suzanne is a sales manager at Thermaxx in New York City.
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