Abstract: Portable Sterilization System for Medical Instruments during Disaster Situations

Sterilization is a required process for most medical and surgical devices prior to usage to eliminate all microorganisms on their surfaces. Specifically, medical devices that directly interact with the human body are sterilized prior to usage in the medical field. The status and quality of specific medical devices are critical to prevent disease transmission due to contaminated surfaces of these medical instruments. However, common sterilization techniques and devices used in the medical field require large amounts of resources to operate; in disaster relief situations these systems may not be viable depending on the severity of the disaster, and on-site sterilization of equipment may become impossible. Here we intend to prepare our emergency medical technicians (EMTs) for such scenarios by designing a portable sterilization system for medical devices. In this research, we’re experimenting with ozone sterilization as our method of choice and we hope to design the device to be cost-effective, energy-efficient, and portable for easy transport. Thus far, we have decided on the main components we want to implement in the management of our proposed project, and the methods to test its functionality and effectiveness. In the near future when our design is finalized, we hope to build a prototype and test its functionality and effectiveness using spore strips we’ll receive from specialized testing labs. We anticipate that the test results we’ll collect will demonstrate our design’s effectiveness in sterilization, and determine the direction of the project for future research and development.