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J Hosp Infect. 1998 Oct;40(2):125-34.
Costs of low-temperature plasma sterilization compared with other sterilization methods.
Adler S1, Scherrer M, Daschner FD.
Plasma sterilization is a new technique for decontaminating thermolabile products without the severe drawbacks associated with gas sterilization methods (residues, environment compatibility). The actual costs, per sterilization unit, of three sterilization techniques--plasma, ethylene oxide and formaldehyde--were compared. As plasma sterilization is an alternative to steam sterilization for sterilizing thermostable but easily corroding products or electronic instruments, costs for steam sterilization were calculated and compared as well. If one considers only the cost of the sterilization procedure itself, without taking into account the time-saving element of plasma sterilization, then ethylene oxide sterilization proves to be the most expensive procedure, followed by plasma sterilization; sterilization with formaldehyde was the least expensive. Inclusion of the time required to sterilize an instruments, however, altered the relative costs of the three methods. Because plasma sterilization takes less time to perform than either ethylene oxide or formaldehyde sterilization, fewer instruments need be procured. In order to measure and compare the time-saving advantage that plasma sterilization affords, five groups of instruments were assembled and the total cost of sterilizing an instrument of each group was calculated. The five groups included (1) disposable, (2) electronic, (3) endoscopic, (4) sharp and (5) standard instruments. In all cases, ethylene oxide sterilization was the most expensive method. Formaldehyde sterilization was, in four out of five cases, more expensive than plasma sterilization. Steam sterilization proved to be the cheapest method of sterilizing a laparoscopic set, even when costs due to damage inflicted on the optical instruments were calculated. In the case of a vitrectome, however, plasma sterilization costs were nearly the same as steam sterilization when the lower rate of damage by plasma sterilization was taken into account.
Costs of low temperature plasma sterilization. [J Hosp Infect. 1999]
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