Ensure that packaging materials are compatible with the sterilization process being used.
Ensure that packaging is sufficiently strong to resist punctures and tears to provide a barrier to microorganisms and moisture.
2. Storage of Sterile Supplies
Ensure storage area is:
In well ventilated area
Free of airborne and surface dust
Protected against moisture, insects, temperature, and humidity extremes
Items will remain sterile indefinitely unless the package becomes wet, punctured, torn, seal is broken, or is damaged in some other way, or the process monitor is questionable
For commercially prepared sterile items with an established expiration date, those manufacturer-recommended expiration dates should be followed.
Any item suspected of being compromised must not be used
3. Maintenance of Sterilized Supplies
Utilize on a first in/first out basis to ensure usage of oldest stock first
indicate the date of sterilization on each processed item
The date is used for stock rotation purposes, to ensure usage of oldest stock first
If at any point sterility and/or barrier is compromised (pack becomes wet, punctured, torn, seal is broken, or is damaged in some other way, or the process monitor is questionable) the package/pack will need to be repacked and reprocessed
Place into new package/drape compatible with the sterilization process being used
Place a new sterilization indicator strip inside the package/pack