Options For Breathing Circuit Cleaning

Cleaning and maintaining breathing circuits is critical to patient safety, both for human patients as well as for veterinary care of small and large animals. There are several different options for breathing circuit cleaning, with some being more effective and easier than others.

Options to Consider

Traditionally, the two most common options for breathing circuit cleaning completed in-house in the medical or veterinary setting has been the use of hot water or steam. The hot water method, called pasteurization, uses long term submersion in hot water (at about 70 degrees Celsius) for at least half an hour. While cost effective it is a long process, requiring significant staff time to complete.

Steaming, or autoclaving at a lower temperature as to avoid damage to the plastic in the circuit can be used, but it is critical to avoid even slight temperature increases that can destroy the internal plastic components.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

A simple outsourced option for breathing circuit cleaning is to use a service that provides ultrasonic cleaning processes up to the specific specifications required for the equipment. These services handle all cleaning of the system, freeing up your staff and eliminating the need for the medical or veterinary facility to purchase, store and use costly cleaning systems.

With ultrasonic cleaning, sound waves created by an external transducer are used to create bubbles in a cleaning solution that impact all surfaces of the parts and components submerged. This impact creates a surface scrubbing action that removes debris, microorganisms and any other surface contaminants from all areas of the circuit, including the interior and exterior, all at one time.

Without the need for heat or the use of steam or other cleaning options that may destroy plastic parts and components, this provides an ideal cleaning option for any breathing circuits in use.

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