Added value of Bowie Dick test in qualified moist heat sterilization autoclave with validated loads?

Hi all,

What is the added value of a Bowie Dick test if:

  1. all loads for an autoclave are validated yearly
  2. the steam quality is passed (tested yearly)
  3. the leak test is passed (tested monthly)

Does the Bowie Dick test only serves as a routine monitoring (between two revalidations/requalifications) of the sterilization conditions? Or can it also identify other issues which could not be detected by the above tests?

Thanks a lot for your comments.

Here is a good article.

In my experience it is useful for porous loads, such as common in hosptitols, to show that a stack of gauze, or towels gets sterilized.

I’ve used them for requalification (required yearly) as a verification, and for initial qualification.

You are correct that the leak test shows that air is not in the chamber, which is also what a bowie dick test does.