Ozone has been known to be an effective sterilant and disinfectant for many years. In recent studies, ozone has also been shown to be a powerful tool against deadly antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Despite this evidence, many healthcare facilities have not incorporated ozone into their disinfection protocols. In this post, we will explore the benefits of ozone disinfection and provide guidelines for implementing it in your facility.

Ozone is a “Other” sterilization technique according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). The CDC provides further information here.

Ozone in Healthcare

FDA has approved a new sterilization technique that employs ozone as the sterilant for use on reusable medical devices in August 2003. The sterilizer creates its own sterilant, which is composed of USP grade oxygen, steam-quality water, and electricity, at the end of the cycle by passing through a catalyst. It is then vented into the room. The duration of the sterilization cycle is 4 hours and 15 minutes, and it takes place at 30-35°C. Microbicidal effectiveness has been proved by achieving a SAL of 10-6 with various microorganisms including the most resistant microorganism, Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

The ozonation process is suitable with a wide range of everyday materials, including stainless steel, titanium, anodized aluminum, ceramic, glass, silica, PVC, Teflon, silicone , polypropylene , polyethylene and acrylic. In addition, the following rigid lumen diameters and lengths can be processed: Internal diameter (ID) : > 2 mm; length: ≤ 25 cm; ID > 3 mm; length: ≤ 47 cm ; and ID > 4 mm; length: ≤ 60 cm.

The sterilant is made in an environmentally friendly chamber that contains a unique mix of heat, radiation, and chemicals. There are no moving parts or hazardous materials to be concerned with during the process; instead, it’s fully automated. There are no toxic emissions, residue to aerate, or hot temperatures to worry about; as a result, there is no danger of an accidental burn while using the equipment.

The cycle is monitored using a self-contained biological indicator and a chemical indicator. The sterilization chamber is tiny at 4 ft3. A gaseous ozone generator was tested for decontamination of rooms that have been used to house patients infected with MRSA. The device under investigation was found to be insufficient for hospital room decontamination. [1]

Bottom Line

In conclusion, while ozone can be an effective disinfectant and sterilant when used correctly, there are many factors to consider in order to ensure that it is effective. By following the guidelines for disinfection and sterilization in healthcare facilities with ozone, you can help to keep your patients safe from harm.