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Candida albicans for example was found to be quite radioresistant with D10 of 1.1 to 2.3 kGy; 9. In general, it is observed that viruses are less sensitive towards ionizing radiation than bacteria and fungi. D10 values for most viruses range from 3 to 5 kGy (Grieb et al., 2005), which is far more than bacteria. Radiation sensitivities of single stranded DNA viruses are higher than those of double stranded ones; 10. Viruses should not normally be found in pharmaceuticals, except in those originating from biotechnological processes. Biological products are submitted to specific guidelines (IAEA, 2004) and the use of higher irradiation doses may be validated for the elimination of viruses. Inactivation with a sufficient S.A.L.

 

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Sterilization: Instrumental in patient safety

Are your instruments sterile before you use them on patients? This article outlines the sterilization process, different indicators, regulations on testing office sterilizers, sterilization failure and what to do, and monitoring the overall process.

By Chris H. Miller, PhD

Have these situations ever happened to you?

• You’re at chairside ready to begin with your first patient of the day and the instruments are arranged on the bracket table. The patient challenges, “How do you know those instruments are safe to use?”

• That afternoon your assistant has to leave for a family emergency, so you have to obtain the instrument set-ups. When you enter the sterilizing room you wonder which packaged instruments are ready to use and which have not yet been processed through the sterilizer.

• Your state department of health or the state dental board contacts you asking for your sterilizer spore-testing records for the last six months.

Although there is no way to absolutely guarantee the sterility of every instrument you process, there are methods to monitor the effectiveness of the sterilization process and to identify instrument packages that have been processed through the sterilizer. These sterilization monitoring procedures help ensure patient safety. Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA), they are mandated in some states.

Types of sterilization monitoring

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