Do multi-use cellulosic textiles provide safe protection against the contamination of sterilized items?
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The aim of this study was to determine whether multiple use cellulosic medical textiles (cotton blends, Tencel®) could provide protection against contamination after sterilization, regardless of the barrier system of only qualified materials, as per EN 868-2, used in the process. New methods for testing permeability and durability of the microbial barrier cellulosic textiles were developed. The most resistant endospores of two apathogenic bacteria of the Bacilllus genus (Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus) were used. Testing was conducted after 1, 10, 20, 30 and 50 washing and sterilization cycles under real hospital conditions of the University Hospital Centre Zagreb. The retention period of the microbial barrier of the diagonally packaged packages (one layer; EN ISO 11607-1:2009) after sterilization was tested after the time period of 1, 2 and 3 months of storage under controlled conditions. Bacterial permeability occurred in cellulosic medical textiles when they were contaminated with an extremely high quantity of aerobe bacterial spores. During the testing of microbial barrier durability, the package remained uncontaminated after 1, 2 and 3 months of storage. Medical cellulose textiles used under real hospital conditions functioned properly as a microbial barrier system after 50 cycles of washing and sterilization and 3 months of storage, as the sterilized content was not contaminated at all; they could be used as a microbe barrier system for packing in sterilization, regardless of the fact that they did not meet the standard EN 868-02:2009 Packaging materials for terminally sterilized medical devices. Part 2: sterilization wrap—requirements and test methods or the International standard, for example EN ISO 11607-1:2009 Packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices, part 1: requirements for materials, sterile barrier systems and packaging systems.
KeywordsCellulose Multiple use medical textiles Microbial barrier Sterilization Geobacillus stearothermophilus Bacillus atrophaeus
The financial support was provided by the framework Support 1 for research: Fictionalisation textile materials for achieving the protective properties (220.127.116.11) financed by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. This research was conducted in collaboration with Department of Clinical and Molecular Microbiology and Clinical Department for Sterilization and Medical Surveillance of Employees, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Croatia.
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