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ST79: AAMI's Landmark Recommended Practice for Hospital Steam Sterilization

ST79The AAMI recommended practice, Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities, is a breakthrough standard in terms of its scope.

AAMI has updated ST79 with the release of ST79:2010/A4:2013. Of particular importance, A4:2013 provides four new figures demonstrating the wrapping of items for steam sterilization and adds an annex focused on Moisture assessment. As of Oct. 25, 2013, purchasers of ST79 will receive ANSI/AAMI ST79:2010 and A1:2010 and A2:2011 and A3:2012 and A4:2014 as a single consolidated document. Among other changes from the 2006 edition of ST79, this revised and expanded second edition of ST79 includes guidance on the use and application of Class 6 emulating indicators, a chemical monitoring device fairly new to the United States.

Because ST79 essentially consolidates five AAMI steam sterilization standards (whose content was reviewed and updated to reflect current good practice prior to being incorporated into ST79), it truly is a comprehensive guideline for all steam sterilization activities in healthcare facilities, regardless of the size of the sterilizer or the size of the facility, and provides a resource for all healthcare personnel who use steam for sterilization.

Immediate-Use Steam Sterilization Position Statement

This position statement has been adopted by AAMI, Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, AORN, APIC, ASC Quality Collaboration, AST, and IAHCSMM. It is included at the end of print and PDF copies of ST79.

PDF: Immediate Use Steam Sterilization Position Statement

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ST79
ST79
$174
$290
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ST79-PDF
ST79-PDF
$174
$290
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A2:2011
ST79-A
$50
$85
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A2:2011-PDF
ST79-A-PDF
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A3:2012
ST79-A3
$50
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A3:2012-PDF
ST79-A3-PDF
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ST79 (Text & Tabs only)
ST79-CO
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A4:2013
ST79-A4
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A4:2013-PDF
ST79-A4-PDF 
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You may also be interested in the set of five Steam Sterilization Posters based on information within ST79.

Four-Phase System

Saturated steam under pressure is one of the oldest methods used in healthcare facilities to sterilize medical devices. Because this method has been available for so many years, it is thought to be a simple process, one that is well understood and controlled. However, the efficacy of any sterilization process, including saturated steam, depends on a consistent system for 1) lowering and limiting bioburden before sterilization, 2) properly preparing items for sterilization, 3) selecting the appropriate sterilization parameters, and 4) establishing and implementing controls to maintain the sterility of sterilized items until they are used. These four critically interdependent phases provide the framework for ST79.

New Format

Some of the challenges AAMI faced in compiling a document with so much information included making it durable and organizing it in such a manner that users could quickly and easily find what they were looking for. Thus, ST79 is the first AAMI standard to be available in loose-leaf binder format. (It is also available individually in PDF format and as part of Sterilization in Health Care Facilities, AAMI's Sterilization CD, and subscription products). The attractive binder features sturdy metal rings, ledger-weight pages, and laminated tabs for easy navigation.

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The Five Recommended Practices Incorporated into ST79 were...