From Novel to Established, a Journey of VHP Sterilization




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By Arthur Henderson RN, BA, CNOR, CRCST, CHL, ASQ-CQIA, GTS

For over 30 years, healthcare facilities have relied on vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) to sterilize temperature sensitive medical devices. From its origins as a novel technology, VHP has gained the trust of healthcare, regulatory bodies, and standards organizations. With the release and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognition of a low temperature vaporized hydrogen peroxide standard (ISO 22441), the FDA classified vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization as an “Established Category A method of sterilization for products labeled sterile.” This is good news for manufacturers of sterile products looking to move away from Ethylene oxide (EO) as this puts VHP sterilization on equal terms with EO and steam sterilization processes.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define what is meant by “established sterilization process”
  2. List key breakthroughs in VHP sterilization development
  3. Pair medical devices with the VHP sterilization cycle type

About the Author

Arthur Henderson, RN, BA, CNOR, CRCST, CHL, GTS is a senior clinical education specialist for STERIS Corporation. Prior to STERIS, he served as the coordinator of education for the California Central Service Association, the assistant main OR manager at a large acute-care hospital, and the clinical educator for peri-operative services for another large acute-care facility. Arthur has developed and implemented an OR orientation program and an OR internship program for non-surgical nurses and has coordinated performance improvement and staff development programs for peri-operative services. He also has more than years of experience as a registered nurse in a variety of specialties including GI, open-heart surgery, neurosurgery, and cardiothoracic intensive care.