One of the simplest and most reliable ways of sterile storage of medical instruments is sterilization pouches, which have a shelf life of up to a year. The barrier properties of the material from which they are made guarantee reliable protection against bacteria, dust, dirt, but even more appealing to users is their ease of use as a means of sterilization and storage. How to use kraft bags for sterilization, what are the conditions for sterilization of kraft bags - in this article. Application of packaging for sterilization Bags are used for packaging, steam and gas sterilization, storage of tools, bandages, gloves, masks, etc. By using packaging you maintain the sterility of the processed products after processing. Sterilization bags can be used to handle and safely store: medical instrument; manicure accessories; dishes (glass bottles, petri dishes, bottles, etc.); surgery gloves; medical underwear and bandages; medical products (probes, catheters, drainage tubes, etc.). Advantages of sterilization pouches Such packaging has a number of advantages: air permeable and sterilizing agents (pressurized steam and ethylene oxide); is a reliable barrier for microorganisms;retains its appearance after sterilization;ensures a long time to maintain the sterility of the contents; equipped with indicators of different classes (for air, steam, ethylene oxide sterilization), which allow you to monitor the quality of sterilization. Sterilization bags: types and characteristics Bags for sterilization and storage of medical instruments and medical products are made of kraft paper or a combination of materials: polymer film and crepe paper. There are the following types of packages: self adhesive;for heat sealing.In the first case, it is sealed with flaps with an adhesive layer (protected by release paper) or paper clips, on which a self-adhesive tape is glued. Heat seal packages are sealed using special equipment. Kraft paper used for the production of bags is a sustainable material made from recycled environmentally friendly raw materials. The base is sulfate cellulose. For the manufacture of bags, several layers of paper with a density of 80-100 g / m². m. Packages are highly moisture resistant and can be of various sizes and shapes. Sterilization bags and rolls made from a combination of materials are very popular. In this case, one side of the bag is made of multi-layer film (polyester/polypropylene) and the other side of crepe paper. Sogeva sterilization bags are an example of such products. The packages have special indicators applied with chemically processed ink, which change color and inform about the end of the sterilization process. With self-adhesive bags, the inner protruding part of the paper is covered with a layer of heat-resistant glue. Sogeva bags can be used for steam and ethylene oxide sterilization. Unlike oven sterilization, which can harm heat-sensitive instruments and damage microsurgical instruments over time, ethylene oxide sterilization has the following benefits: the agent penetrates well into packaging materials, into products with a complex configuration; simple process, well controlled; microorganisms are quickly destroyed; Ethylene Oxide is compatible with most medical devices. Sterilization bags: expiration date of the contents The conditions for preserving sterility depend on the method of sealing the bags: with staples - up to 3 days; double pack of crepe paper - 3 weeks; combined self-adhesive bags - up to 6 months; combination bags sealed by heat sealing - up to 12 months; Sterilization bags: instructions for use So, kraft bags for sterilization: how to use packaging to create conditions for the safe storage of their contents? Instruments or medical products are placed in packaging after prior (presterilization) cleaning, after which the packaging is sealed or welded. In the latter case, special equipment is used, for example a Melag 100+ packaging machine. The sealing process is fully controlled by the device and both bags and rolls can be used for packaging (the machine is equipped with a cutting device). Now about signing packages. An inscription is applied to the package describing the contents (even if one side of the package is transparent), the date and time of sterilization, the signature of the person doing the bookmarking and the processing. Usually sterilization is performed in autoclaves with steam or ethylene oxide. In the first case, the process proceeds at a temperature of 121 to 134 degrees, and with gas sterilization, the temperature is maintained in the range of 30 to 54 degrees. If the packages are not provided with sterilization indicators, indicators are used which are placed in the packages. Sogeva bags are equipped with indicators that change color from pink to brown or from blue to dark yellow during the sterilization process (for gas and steam sterilization, respectively). Multiple instruments can be sterilized in one bag, but it should not be overfilled. The expiration date of kraft bags after sterilization and combined bags is determined by the manufacturer, which is indicated in the instructions. After storage, the package is checked and if there are no comments, it is opened aseptically. Sterilization bags are for single use, after which they are discarded. It is possible to sterilize a dental instrument without the use of special packaging, but in this case you must use it within an hour. How to use sterilization bags (basic rules): before use it is necessary to inspect the packaging - damaged products can not be used; it is necessary to check the date of manufacture and the expiry date of the packages for sterilization - expired products can not be used; make sure that there is a sterilization indicator (the color of the indicator must match that in the instructions); on the package you must indicate the content, date, time of sterilization and leave a signature; sterilization is carried out in accordance with the recommended mode for the type of sterilizer used; it is necessary to store the package with sterilized instruments in dry and clean cabinets, protected from sunlight, at a temperature of +10 to +30 degrees and a humidity of not more than 50%.