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Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient-Care Items in Oral Healthcare Settings

Course Number: 474

Preparing and Packaging

At the second station of the CPA, the individual instruments may be placed in self-sealed or heat-sealed plastic and paper pouches; or they may be arranged in rigid or perforated trays/cassettes and wrapped. Complex instruments must be disassembled according to manufacturer’s instructions and hinged instruments must be in an open, unlocked position. The packaging material must allow penetration of the sterilization agent to the items being sterilized.

For quality assurance, each instrument unit must have an internal indicator placed on the inside and, if the internal indicator cannot be seen, an external indicator must be applied to the outside (see Quality Assurance). The date and sterilizer number should also be noted on each instrument unit. The packing material e.g., paper or plastic pouches and wraps must maintain the sterility of instruments during transport and storage.2,3