How to Sterilize reusable Neurotherm RF probes (RF electrodes).
Before Neurotherm reusable electrodes, Test Leads, and Stimulation Test Blocks are used they must be sterilized by autoclaving following to the instructions provided by the autoclave manufacturer’s recommended sterilization procedure.
If in doubt, the sterilizer or autoclave manufacturer should be consulted for a recommendation of loading instructions and drying times.
NOTE: Before sterilization, inspect the Neurotherm RF electrode for any signs of damage or corrosion. Do not use if such damage is noted.
The adapter cable is provided non-sterile. The adapter cable should always be cleaned before sterilization.
RF Electrode Sterilization
To clean the electrode, wipe or rinse the thermocouple electrode with tap water at 30-40°C (86-104°F) before cleaning. Submerse the electrode and protective tube in a lukewarm, blood-dissolving enzymatic solution. Remove gross matter, i.e. blood, mucous, and tissue from the product with a soft lint-free cloth. Using lukewarm tap water at 30-40°C (86-104°F) rinse the probe until the enzymatic solution is removed.
NOTE: Thermal washer disinfectors may be used on a standard cycle between 84° and 90° C for 1 minute.Steam (Moist Heat). The quality of steam should be in accordance with the requirements of HTM2031 “Steam for Sterilization”. Wrapped (Porous Load) fractionated and pulse cycles.
For (Porous Load) fractionated and pulse cycles, sterilization temperature should be pre- 132°C (270°F) for a minimum of 4 minutes. Do not use a gravity system processing for wrapped instruments.
When sterilizing unwrapped RF electrodes. The temperature range in each case should be:- 1340 – 1370C for a minimum of 4 minutes.
Gravity displacement temperature should be 132°C for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Ensure that any RFA probe cable does not contact the metal housing of the autoclave or other metal instruments during the sterilization cycle, as this may reduce the effective life of the radiofrequency electrode.
RF needles (RF cannula) and disposable RF probes are supplied sterilized, double wrapped and for single-patient use only. It goes without saying, the disposable one-time radiofrequency probes and RF cannula can not be autoclaved or reused.
CAUTION: After sterilization but before each use, connect an electrode to the lesion generator, using the adapter cable, and ensure the readings of the temperature and impedance are within the normal range.
The Autoclave manufacturer should be consulted for a recommendation of loading instructions and drying times.
Sterilization equipment should have validated certification and performance qualification tests of their process cycles for efficient processing.
It is recommended that disposable Neurotherm radiofrequency electrodes (radiofrequency probes) should be used when possible, for added safety of the patient and members of the hospital staff. The downside to this is the cost of the disposable RF electrode.
Can the electrodes be dry-heat sterilized?
Yes, RF (Radiofrequency) electrodes can be dry-heat sterilized, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines for sterilization. Dry heat sterilization is a process that uses hot air to sterilize equipment and can be an effective method for sterilizing RF electrodes. However, it is important to note that dry heat sterilization can cause damage to certain materials, such as some types of plastics, and may impact the performance and longevity of the electrodes. Additionally, prolonged exposure to high temperatures can also degrade the insulation and lead to an increase in electrical impedance. Hence, it is essential to carefully monitor the temperature and time parameters during the sterilization process to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the sterilization procedure.