What is the protocol to follow when chemical indicators do not change color or in the case of ProChek S, do not turn completely blue/purple?
Do not release the load of instruments for use. Check the physical controls (temperature, cycle time, etc.) and print out if available. Verify that correct cycle time, temperature and pressure are in use.
Determine if the sterilizer is overloaded. Evaluate how items are loaded. Packages placed paper to paper or stacked flat instead of on edge may not allow adequate circulation and penetration of steam.
Check the condition of the sterilizer door gasket. Ensure adequate level of distilled water or chemical vapor solution. Review error codes displayed on models with this feature. Repackage and reprocess all items with fresh chemical indicators. Re-evaluate after processing.
If all chemical monitors continue to fail, contact equipment repair person. Check records for date of last successful biological spore test and date of most recent passing chemical indicators. Meanwhile, keep sterilizer out of service. Recall loads of sterilized items where process monitor results are not known or not passing.