Q: An OCR was donated to us, but it has been in storage a long time. When tested it produced smoke and a burning smell. The cover was taken off and there appears to be insulation around the bottom, but it also looks like a rat nest. It’s very hard to tell.
Is fiberglass insulation common in these autoclaves, or is it just a rat’s nest?
A: Yes, I would expect to find fiberglass insulation around the chamber. What do you observe if you start a cycle with the cover off?
A: If this is a new autoclave, it is likely that the burning smell is normal. This commonly occurs when a new heater is installed and will need to be seasoned. If the odor doesn’t dissipate after a few days then you may have a defective heater element. The guys at RPI are really good with specing out what you need to get this back in working condition. Hope it works out well for you.
A: Since Pelton & Crane hasn’t manufactured autoclaves for a few years now and the OCR was one of their older models it is unlikely that this is a new autoclave. They did typically have a fiberglass insulation jacket around the chamber.
A: I tried it with the cover off. I didn’t see any smoke this time and minimal burning smell, but the autoclave would not reach sterilizing temperature. Even though the gasket looks to be in good condition. It does make a whistling noise, which makes me think it needs a new one. The insulation on the bottom is not under the chamber, its bunched up in the corners. Would I be better off upgrading to the insulation that wraps around the chamber?
A: If you hear whistling and see water vapor escaping then you should replace the door gasket, you cannot repair it. If this has been sitting in storage, the door gasket is probably worthless by now. Your description sounds like someone had opened it up and did some work on it previously. The chamber insulation should be replaced and is critical to reaching temp and maintaining the temp stability. Additionally, you should pop off the pressure relief valve to make sure it is working properly and the valve seat is clear of any debris. If the water reservoir looks corroded then you should consider running a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water through it to clean out the mineral build-up (much like a coffee maker cleaning process). Make sure you thoroughly flush this out with distiller water. As you likely already know, do not use tap water.
Q: Looking for advice and recommendations on Dornoch (Zimmer) versus Stryker fluid waste management systems. Anyone with direct Dornoch experience would be most helpful.
A: We have the Dornoch unit here in our ORs. They are not maintained by biomed but the staff seem satisfied with them. No complaints that I have heard of. I think we had Stryker units previously that were problematic.
A: I’ve never used the Stryker unit, but we bought the first Dornoch unit they ever sold. It looked like a prototype built entirely out of parts from Graingers. They told us we would have a lifetime parts warranty, but now we are on our second unit. Funny how that seems to work out. Our current unit is now seven years old. I do the annual PMs on it and we rarely have any problems. Tech support is good.
A: I have worked on both. The Dornoch is by far a better machine.
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