E-doscope - e-doscope vol. 1 - E-Doscope - E-Doscope


~WO93t17727 PCT/US93/01631 ~102~03 D~VICE AND SYST~M FOR STERILIZING OB~ECTS

FIE~D OF T~E lNv~llON

The present invention relates generally to a sterilizing system and in particular to a system for sterilizing objects such as ~ndoscopes in which the sterilized endoscope is retained within the cassette in which it was sterilized until ready for use, thus avoiding any contamination by exposure to the atmosphere or ha~dling before useO

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WO93/17727 PCT/~S93/~
21029~3 R~C~q~O~ND OF T~E lN v~NllON

Contamination by microorganisms is one of the most troublesome problem~ encountered today and there is often a need to sterilize devices such as medical instrumen~ and the like. , In . Patents Nos. 4,169,123 and 4,169,124 methods are disclosed of cold gas sterilization usi~g hydrogen peroxide gas of temperatures below 80~C.
The liquid hydrogen peroxide is ~aporized and the hydrogen peroxide vapor is then introduced into the sterilization chamber by pressure differential.
. Patent No. 4,642,165 disclo~es a method o~
injecting and vaporizing successive increments of a multicomponent liquid such as an aqueous solution of hydrogen pero~ide, for delivery in'o a vacuum ch~mber~ The Yacuum in the chamber draws the multicomponent ~apor into the chamber.
. Patent No. 4,512,951 disclo~es a method of liguid contact hydrogen peroxide sterilization.
Goods to be ~terilized are maintained in the ~terilization cham~er at a temperature below the dew point of the ~apor 9terilant. An a~ueou~ solution of hydrogen per~xide i~ vapurized and pa~ed into the e~acuated sterilization chamber where, upon contact with the goods, the ~apor conAe~es to form a liquid layer of sterilant on the good~. A vacuum in the ~hamber draws the vapor into the chamber.
: United Kingdom Patent No. 1,582,060 discloses a ~imilar ~liquid contact hydrogen peroxide steri-li~ation method operated without a vacuum chamber.
Liquid hydrogen peroxide is pumped through an ultrasonic spray nozzle which is operated by a stream of dehydrated air. A mist of hydrogen peroxide is sprayed into a container and mixed with hot air to change the mist into a vapor. The vapor is piped into a nonpressurized sterilization chamber where it condenses on a cool moving web of material. A stream of hot air in an adjacent chamber removes the hydrogen peroxide layer from the web.
The stream is then passed to a water separator where it is relieved of the sterilant.
In some other prior art systems, when the object such as a medical instrument has been sterilized, it must be removed from the sterilization chamber and handled in some form to be prepared for and transported to the medical facility for use. For instance, with the use of endoscopes which have multiple hollow tubes therein for air, water, vacuum and the like, the endoscope is placed in a container and input and output fluid connections are made to the appropriate endoscope connections and the chamber is sealed. A sterilizing fluid is introduced into the chamber through one port where it not only surrounds and bathes the endoscope with the sterilizing agent, but is also passed through the hollow tubes of the endoscope by applying a vacuum on the other port, thus sterilizing the interior of any tubes.
However, the endoscope may still have moisture on it and the ambient air may then enter the chamber after the sterilization process or the endoscope may simply be removed from the chamber and placed in ambient air so that it will dry before use.

W093/17727 PCT/USg3/Q~




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