In healthcare, keeping equipment sterilized is critical to protection in nearly all processes, and is the general rule-of-thumb whenever in doubt. To assist this process, there are even products to aid in streamlining the sterilisation of equipment, which can prove essential in a busy, fast-paced setting. Sterilising pouches, or autoclave bags, are disposable pouches designed to hold equipment and facilitate sterilisation inside.

Not only do they sterilise items that are placed inside, but also allow for safe transportation and handling, as well as appropriate storage of equipment while within expensive sterilising machinery. While they’re used as a hygiene tool, their adequate aseptic features make them a medical device themselves and therefore play an integral role in proper healthcare practices. In this article, Team Medical Suppliesexplores just how are sterilising bags used in a variety of healthcare settings.

What are sterilising bags used for?

Depending on their size, sterilising bags hold low-profile, lightweight medical equipment and tools. These bags house the equipment as they’re placed into a sterilizing device, and their design allows for sterilant penetration through the walls of the bag and onto the equipment. During this process, they also prevent the equipment from contaminating the expensive sterilizing device.

Various sizes of bags accommodate different tools, and the strength of the bag should also be considered when placing equipment inside. Inserting heavy or sharp devices into autoclave bags may cause rips to the material or improper drying of the equipment.

What is the appropriate way to use sterilising bags?

With equipment to be cleaned inside, sterilizer bags are placed into an autoclave or sterilizer – a medical device that emits a chemical into the internal channel to sterilize the contents inside. As sterilizer bags allow fluids to permeate, the tools inside the bag are sterilised adequately while protecting the device.

Pouches must be designed within specifications to ensure they protect the device and hold the tools proficiently while allowing the sterilizer to permeate. For a steriliser bag to be suitable it must meet the following criteria:



  1. It allows penetration of a particular sterilant through the bag, as well as other compatibility requirements of specific autoclave sterilisation processes
  2. The pouch material, size and strength are compatible with the medical items to be inserted. This information is typically described on the pouch packaging
  3. It keeps the contents of the bag sterile until opened, through the appropriate pouch design
  4. It can be opened in a sterile manner, without the user contaminating the items after sterilisation

How to choose the right steriliser bags for your healthcare setting

There are some important factors to consider before you acquire the right steriliser bags for your healthcare organisation. As well as ensuring the product is validated and compatible with the steriliser device, the types of equipment and the size of tools you need to sterilise will play an important role.

Pouches should be filled to a maximum of 75 per cent of their volume so that the steriliser can sufficiently enter the pouch and contact the contents. Aim to keep two to three centimetres of space around the medical equipment inside the pouches as you position them for sterilisation, which can help you identify the right autoclave bags for your workplace.

Review the Selection Available from Team Medical Supplies Today


Team Medical Suppliesstock one of the largest collections of validated and medical equipment compatible autoclave,Australia-wide! You can view the dimensions of each set of bags, or if you would like further information, contact ustoday and we will be happy to help you find the correct bags for your healthcare setting by calling 1300 22 44 50.