What is biological indicator testing?

What is biological indicator testing?

Biological indicators are test systems that contain viable microorganisms with a defined resistance to a specific sterilization process. They help monitor whether the necessary conditions were met to kill a specified number of microorganisms for a given sterilization process.

What does it mean when a biological indicator is positive?

The most common cause of a positive BI is operator error. Monitoring of physical indicators involves checking the gauges, displays or printouts of the sterilizer for cycle time, temperature and pressure, which must be documented.

What is a biological indicator used for?

Biological indicators, or spore tests, are the most accepted means of monitoring sterilization because they assess the sterilization process directly by killing known highly resistant microorganisms (e.g., Geobacillus or Bacillus species).

What is the most common reason for biological monitoring failure?

Overloading sterilizers is the #1 most common cause of failures. Understanding proper loading is key to ensuring properly sterilizer instruments and cassettes.

Why is it important to use biological indicators in monitoring the efficacy of heat sterilization techniques?

What steps will you take if indicators fail?

What to do if a failed chemical indicator is found in the Operating Room. Internal failed CIs discovered in the OR should result in the rejection of the set and should be returned to decontamination for full reprocessing. Follow your facility’s policies and procedures for sterilization failures.

What are examples of Bioindicators?

Bioindicators are living organisms such as plants, planktons, animals, and microbes, which are utilized to screen the health of the natural ecosystem in the environment.

What does a positive spore test mean?

Overloading, failure to provide adequate package separation, and incorrect or excessive packaging material are all common reasons for a positive spore test in the absence of mechanical failure of the sterilizer unit.

How are biological indicators used in autoclaves?

Biological indicator vials contain spores from B. stearothermophilus, a microorganism that is inactivated when exposed to 121.1oC saturated steam for a minimum of 20 minutes. Autoclaves used to treat biological waste will be evaluated with a biological indicator by EHS on a quarterly basis.

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