In any type of surgery, the ideal method of sterilization should be one that safely permits the sterilization of all instruments, sutures, and drapes as well as plastic and rubber materials together in the same sterilizer. Rusting, corrosion, charring, or deteriorization in any form must not occur even after repeated sterilization. Gas sterilization with ethylene oxide gas is the only method available today that meets all of these requirements. A small portable sterilizer using ethylene oxide gas which is ideal for ophthalmic surgery has been used in these studies.*
Ethylene Oxide Gas
Pure ethylene oxide is both toxic and explosive. The explosive hazard was first eliminated by Phillips and Kaye1 by mixing the ethylene oxide with carbon dioxide. In the commercial sterilizer used in our studies ethylene oxide has been combined with an inerting agent composed of hydrogenated carbons, and this mixture has been packaged in small containers (Steribulbs)
LINN JG. Use of Gas Sterilization for Ophthalmic Surgery. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;62(4):619–625. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.04220040081012
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