Journal article

Steam sterilisation's energy and water footprint

Forbes McGain, Graham Moore, Jim Black



Objective The aim of the present study was to quantify hospital steam steriliser resource consumption to provide baseline environmental data and identify possible efficiency gains. We sought to find the amount of steriliser electricity and water used for active cycles and for idling (standby), and the relationship between the electricity and water consumption and the mass and type of items sterilised. Methods We logged a hospital steam steriliser's electricity and water meters every 5min for up to 1 year. We obtained details of all active cycles (standard 134°C and accessory or 'test' cycles), recording item masses and types. Relationships were investigated for both the weight and type of it..

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Awarded by Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding for the steriliser-monitoring devices was provided by The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) as an unrestricted grant (2013/25) to FM. The authors thank the staff of the Sunshine Hospital Sterile Supply Department, including Karen Tricker, Carlos Paciocco and Nancy Trujillo. The authors are grateful for collaboration with the steam steriliser manufacturer Atherton's staff (particularly Sean Boston, Martin Harrison and Scott Lipman) and ScanCare staff (Nathaniel Vann). The authors also thank Dr Rachel Sore (Department of Statistics, The University of Melbourne) for statistical advice and Associate Professor Craig French (Director, Western Health Intensive Care Unit) for critically evaluating the manuscript.