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Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008

Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 [PDF - 948 KB]

Table 7. Minimum cycle times for steam sterilization cycles

Type of sterilizer Item Exposure time at 250oF (121oC) Exposure time at 270oF (132oC) Drying time
Gravity displacement Wrapped instruments 30 min 15 min 15-30 min
Textile packs 30 min 25 min 15 min
Wrapped utensils 30 min 15 min 15-30 min
Dynamic-air-removal (e.g., prevacuum) Wrapped instruments   4 min 20-30 min
Textile packs   4 min 5-20 min
Wrapped utensils   4 min 20 min

Modified from Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. 813, 819.


Table 8. Examples of flash steam sterilization parameters.

Type of sterilizer Load configuration Temperature Time
Gravity displacement Nonporous items only (i.e., routine metal instruments, no lumens) 132°C (270°F) 3 minutes
  Nonporous and porous items (e.g., rubber or plastic items, items with lumens) sterilized together 132°C (270°F) 10 minutes
Prevacuum Nonporous items only (i.e., routine metal instruments, no lumens) 132°C (270°F) 3 minutes
  Nonporous and porous items (e.g., rubber or plastic items, items with lumens) sterilized together 132°C (270°F) 4 minutes
Steam-flush pressure-pulse Nonporous or mixed nonporous/porous items

132°C (270°F)

Manufacturers' instruction

4 minutes

Modified from Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. 812, 819.


Table 9. Characteristics of an ideal low-temperature sterilization process.


High efficacy: the agent should be virucidal, bactericidal, tuberculocidal, fungicidal and sporicidal Rapid activity: ability to quickly achieve sterilization

Strong penetrability: ability to penetrate common medical-device packaging materials and penetrate into the interior of device lumens

Material compatibility: produces only negligible changes in the appearance or the function of processed items and packaging materials even after repeated cycling

Nontoxic: presents no toxic health risk to the operator or the patient and poses no hazard to the environment

Organic material resistance: withstands reasonable organic material challenge without loss of efficacy

Adaptability: suitable for large or small (point of use) installations

Monitoring capability: monitored easily and accurately with physical, chemical, and biological process monitors

Cost effectiveness: reasonable cost for installation and for routine operation


Modified from Schneider. 851

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