Does event related sterility have a 5 year manufacturer expiration date?

  1. 0 Has anyone ever heard of this? I have been in the OR for eight years. Any input would be helpful.
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  3. Visit  or nurse1 profile page

    About or nurse1

    Joined Mar '09; Posts: 3.

    7 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Akpywackett profile page
    I'd be interested in knowing also. I just went through our clean core looking for outdates. And even though the 'packaging' was still intact and 'sterility guaranteed' I had questions.

    Hopefully, we'll get an asnwer.
  5. Visit  or nurse1 profile page
    So do I. I was told it was from the FDA. That sterile products that have change to event related sterility have an expiration date of five years from manufacture date. I just want to make sure this is correct.
  6. Visit  shodobe profile page
    AS far as I know, any event related item is sterile until the package is opned or damaged. Some manufactuers are still putting outdates on their items,but there are quite a few who don't. It would be interesting to know if the rules have changed.
  7. Visit  lindaloo51 profile page
    We have found that some mfg. do have different outdates. It may be related to the shelf life of the product not the sterility. Catheters are one example, they become brittle after time. Another example is silicone ear tubes. Our mfg only covers 10 years even though they are peel packed and in a closed plastic case inside. If in doubt, check with the mfg. Even though they don't place an outdate on a package, they may not stand behind a product after an extended period of time.
  8. Visit  surgnurse1 profile page
    Quote from or nurse1
    So do I. I was told it was from the FDA. That sterile products that have change to event related sterility have an expiration date of five years from manufacture date. I just want to make sure this is correct.
    Do you have a link or literature to support that, that is the first I've heard of it so would like to read more about it, it that is the case?
  9. Visit  or nurse1 profile page
    I do not have any literature on it, just word of mouth. I have look all over and can't find any.
  10. Visit  Pkg Engineer profile page
    I am an engineer for a major orthopedic implant manufacturer, and am responsible for proving the claims we can make for product sterility. The primary standard we follow is ISO 11607, which is recognized by FDA, and it specifies the types of testing required to demonstrate sterility over time. This standard only applies to items provided to the hospital sterile, not items sterilized internally in central supply.

    Per this standard, we cannot claim our product is sterile without testing it. We also must prove (validate) the shelf-life of the product, meaning that if the package says the item is good for 5 years after the manufacture date – then we have already done testing to prove the product is sterile for at least 5 years. If we were shooting for a 10 year shelf-life, we still cannot make a 10 year claim until that testing is completed. Claiming a un-validated expiration date would actually be in violation of FDA regulations, IMHO. ALSO, if we passed 5 year testing but failed 6 year testing, you would not know this.

    …which is why I am surprise to see there are products claimed “Sterile” but without expiration date! I would think that based on materials you would at minimum conduct accelerated aging testing to provide some data that the product could even be sterile for a few years, otherwise they risk placing those patients at higher risk for infection.

    Im aware of ERS, and it is KEY to note that if the commercial mfgr of a product specifies a expiration date, this date must supersede the ERS protocol – I would make sure your protocol specifies this. The burden of proving the package sterility is on the manufacturer, and nobody can claim “infinite”. I would recommend contacting the manufacturer if there are questions on the shelf-life of the product, and they should be able to answer this question.

    If product is failing prior to a provided expiration date, I would definitely contact the manufacturer or FDA to report this as a complaint. At least this way they can be aware of the failures and make improvements.

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