External Steam Agitation (ESA) is a steam application specifically designed for the treatment of liquid and solid infectious waste. The units are a jacketed pressure vessel equipped with a motor-driven shaft. An arm assembly is mounted to the shaft that rotates to macerate the internal waste contents. Steam is injected into the jacket and heat is transmitted to the macerated waste. The ESA(tm) contains the infectious waste from the beginning of the process to the end of the sterilization cycle, once completed the chamber will then depressurize.
The units are designed to provide all the parameters of steam, pressure and time to sterilize medical waste contents as per regulation for steam sterilization. A 6log10 reduction of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores is achieved under these conditions without the aide of special operating and handling methods.
Treated waste is rendered both biologically inert and visibly treated. The mechanical mixing process eliminates waste density, a common waste treatment barrier in traditional medical waste autoclave technologies: low-density plastics shrink; high-density plastics disfigure; pathological wastes are finely shredded; and liquid wastes are dehydrated. The result is a low moisture, homogeneously treated residue unrecognizable as medical waste.
The ESA is designed with the most advanced control system in the industry. Multiple, pass-coded parameter changes, text print outs, programmed maintenance schedule, operator programmed biological indicator testing schedule, test cycle, weighing and operator programmed drying and additional drying cycles are just a few of the systems advances that make the equipment raise the bar on regulatory standards for treatment of medical waste.
Each system is built with a fully automated ring-lock pressure door. One press of a button will open and seal the closure. Onsite treatment systems can be equipped with load cells integrated into the control panel and with weights printed on the text printout. The control panel has a scale calibration screen to assure accuracy.
The ESA technology will reduce the processed internal contents by up to 70 per cent volume by compaction and liquid dehydration. Compaction through breaking the waste into smaller pieces occurs during the entire process. At the completion of the sterilization cycle, drying cycle times may be programmed (to reduce liquid content). The drying cycle is a specific operation of the technology to eradicate all liquid contents. Arm assembly speeds can be set higher to perform greater compaction during the drying cycles.
Glenn Reynolds is president of Bioservices Group Inc. in North Bay, Ontario. Contact Glenn at email@example.com