Sterilization Equipment Summary All health care facilities should have access to sterilization equipment to reduce disease transmission, including during emergency obstetric procedures. While the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends using autoclaves (technologically advanced sterilizing equipment) at the district hospital level, there are various innovations for sterilization that could be useful in low-resource settings. Statement of Need Around 15% of all pregnant women develop a potentially life-threatening complication that calls for skilled care from a facility that provides emergency obstetric care (EmOC).1 Skilled care is needed to provide basic EmOC services defined as parenteral administration of antibiotics, uterotonics, and anticonvulsants; manual removal of the placenta and retained products; assisted vaginal delivery; basic neonatal resuscitation; and the ability to perform these services at community health centers (basic facilities).Autoclave Indicator Tape, Bowie & Dick Test Packs, Indicator Labels, Multi-Variable Steam Indicator, Class 4, Steam Indicator, Class 6, Helix Control Test Package, Container Seals, Container Key, sterilization equipments, sterilization products, sterilization control, sterilization monitoring, bowie dick test, infection control, cssd, Steam sterilization. 2 Additional skills are needed to provide comprehensive EmOC services, defined by the additional signal functions of cesarean delivery and blood transfusion to address certain complications such as obstructed labor, severe hemorrhage, and complications from abortion. WHO recommends four basic EmOC facilities and at least one comprehensive EmOC facility per every 500,000 population. Facilities with comprehensive EmOC services must be equipped with anesthetic machines, monitors, respirators and oxygen supply, sterilizing equipment, and other equipment suitable for the level of service.3 A recent analysis of 24 national or near-national needs assessments showed that all but two countries met the minimum acceptable level of one comprehensive EmOC facility per 500,000 population, and in countries with high maternal mortality ratios the number of basic facilities was insufficient.4 Lack of basic facilities and the need for more comprehensive facilities contributes to the inability to meet the fifth United Nations Millennium Development Goal, to reduce maternal mortality. 5 Constraints are numerous and are often due to lack of equipment, inadequate equipment maintenance, poor training, and insufficient infrastructure. There is a need for EmOC technologies that are reliable, cost-effective, and easy to implement in both basic and comprehensive facilities. All health care facilities should have access to recommended basic infection-prevention processes to reduce disease transmission from soiled instruments and other reusable items. The steps for processing are decontamination, cleaning, and either sterilization or high-level disinfection (HLD).5,6 Sterilization is the safest and most effective method for the final processing of instruments, ensuring that instruments are free of all microorganisms including bacterial endospores. WHO recommends autoclaving (steam sterilization at 121°C for 30 minutes) for sterilization at the district hospital7 in preference to other 2 sterilization technologies (including dry heat, chemical, gas, plasma, etc.). In peripheral health centers, sterilization equipment may either be unavailable or unsuitable because of price, size, or power requirements.

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In these cases, HLD has been the only acceptable alternative.* Autoclave Indicator Tape, Bowie & Dick Test Packs, Indicator Labels, Multi-Variable Steam Indicator, Class 4, Steam Indicator, Class 6, Helix Control Test Package, Container Seals, Container Key, sterilization equipments, sterilization products, sterilization control, sterilization monitoring, bowie dick test, infection control, cssd, Steam sterilization . Although the HLD process destroys all microorganisms (including vegetative bacteria, tuberculosis, yeasts, and viruses) except some bacterial endospores, experts now recommend that autoclave technology be made available down to peripheral health centers.3

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