Sterilization reels are single-use, peel-open pouches designed to hold items during sterilization. Not all pouch materials are suitable for use in all types of sterilization processes, so different pouches are required depending on the sterilization processes available. Plastic/paper pouches are used for steam sterilization. The plastic side of the pouch allows clear visualization of the contents and the chemical indicator. The paper side allows air removal and the sterilant to enter the pouch.
Sterilization pouches are recommended for smaller, lightweight, low profile items. They are available in various sizes and configurations to enclose loose groups of instruments and offer various types of built-in chemical indicators. If an instrument appears to be too heavy or large for a pouch, another packaging method should be used.
Sterilization pouches have four primary objectives:
• They must allow penetration of the chosen sterilant and be compatible with any other requirements of the sterilization process.
• They must be able to maintain the sterility of package contents until opened.
• They must create a package that can be opened without contaminating the contents by the user.
• They must permit the contents to be sterile at the point of use.
Pouches should also be “tamper evident” so that a pouch opened in error cannot be resealed without complete reprocessing.