The Bowie-Dick is test for Class B autoclaves to evaluate the penetration efficiency in porous loads (gauzes, bandages, gowns and various fabrics), as it verifies that the autoclave chamber is holding a vacuum during the sterilisation cycle.
A successful test confirms that steam penetration into a test pack is rapid and even and that air and other non-condensable gases have been effectively removed.
Bowie Dick Test Features:
- Consists of 3cm wad of paper with sterilisation indicator sheet in the middle.
- The chemical indicator sheet at the centre of the pack shows a defined colour change from yellow to dark blue/purple when exposed to 134˚C-137˚C for up to 5 minutes.
- If the steriliser is efficient and capable of uniformly sterilising porous packs, there will be uniform penetration and the test sheet will turn a uniform colour, without patches.
- This test must be carried out after repair or maintenance work on sterilization devices and as regular checks depending on the frequency of use of the autoclave.
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