Apparatus and method for detecting leaks in surgical and examination gloves
March 30, 2004
An apparatus and method for the use of ozone as a sterilant for many classes of surgical instruments which are at least partially metallic. Three features are the connection of a voltage carrying part of the instrument to be sterilized as the electrode of an ozone generating cell, which employs a glow discharge and maintaining the temperature of this electrode below 500° C., and that no solid dielectric exists between opposed electrodes in the ozone generating cell. Ozone is thereby localized about voltage carrying and any non-voltage carrying parts of the electrode connected instrument. The control of electrode heating helps to maintain the increasing atmospheric concentration of the ozone, which will however eventually reach a natural limit. Local heating of the electrode configuration is controlled where the instrument to be sterilized is connected at least periodically as the negative electrode.