Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sterilization

Proper maintenance is essential to help ensure the best performance of your Spacelabs devices and accessories. The following documents provide detailed procedures for cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilization, with warnings and recommendations of proper cleaning agents.

Disinfection Information and Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites the 1:10 dilution of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) as an intermediate-level disinfectant and identifies it as broad spectrum sporicidal with a concentration of at least 5000 ppm (0.5%).

Clorox Healthcare Bleach Wipes and PDI Sani-Cloth Bleach Wipes are similar products that were registered with the EPA during 2018 as effective against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis; Norovirus; C. difficile spores, and other pathogens. The manufacturers declare their bleach wipe products contain the CDC recommended 1:10 dilution of chlorine bleach.

You may use either of these bleach wipe products to disinfect the exterior plastic surfaces of Spacelabs patient monitors, patient cables, lead wires, and parameter sensors. Discard and replace any patient cables that are damaged, do not perform as expected, or are grossly contaminated.

Do not use chlorine bleach on any of the metal electrical contacts on the patient monitors or the patient cables. Chlorine may impact the metal plating materials and shorten the useful life of the electrical contacts.

Use a clean cotton swab, moist with alcohol (70-99% isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or methylated spirits) to gently clean the electrical contacts on the monitor and patient lead wires and sensors. Allow the cleaned surfaces to air-dry thoroughly before re-use.

Please refer to the operator’s manual for your Spacelabs product for further information about product cleaning and disinfection.  For products manufactured by a third party that you have purchased from Spacelabs, please refer to that third party’s instructions for use.  If you have questions about specific products not identified here, please submit your query along with product model information using our Contact Us form.

No-touch spatial disinfectant methods

The most common disinfectant methods at present are ultraviolet (UV) light devices and gaseous hydrogen peroxide systems.

UV Lighting

Effect on Spacelabs monitoring equipment
Daily exposure to UV disinfectant lighting systems should not have any impact on Spacelabs patient monitors. The plastic used in the manufacture of Spacelabs patient monitors is rated for continuous outdoor use.  It carries a UL rating of F1 which includes prolonged exposure to the full spectrum of UV light.


UV (Ultraviolet) light refers to the region of the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and x-rays.  The wavelength of the band is between 400 and 10 nanometers (nm). This electromagnetic radiation is not visible to the human eye, because it has a shorter wavelength and higher frequency than the light that our brain perceives as images.  UV-B (320 – 290 nm) is the band that causes sunburns with prolonged exposure with an increased risk of skin cancer and other cellular damage.  About 95% of all UV-B is absorbed by the ozone in Earth’s atmosphere. UV-C (290 – 100 nm) is extremely harmful and is almost completely absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere. It is commonly used as a disinfectant in food, air, and water as it kills microorganisms by destroying their cells’ nucleic acids.

According to articles available on the National Institutes of Health, there are two main types of portable UV devices that produce UV light across the disinfecting spectrum (320 – 100 nm): those that emit a continuous dose of UV light through a mercury bulb, and those that use a pulsed xenon light. The recommended time to run the device depends upon the manufacturer. Mercury UV-C devices may take as much as 45 minutes to deliver a single cycle adequate to disinfect an entire room. The pulsed xenon system (developed by Xenex Disinfection Service, 2017) is capable of disinfecting a comparable room in 20 minutes. Studies have shown that both types of systems reduce pathogens on both porous and nonporous hospital surfaces.

The plastic used in the manufacture of Spacelabs patient monitors is rated for continuous outdoor use.  It carries a UL rating of F1 which includes prolonged exposure to the full spectrum of UV light.

Gaseous Hydrogen Peroxide

Effect on Spacelabs monitoring equipment
No adverse effects have occurred during prolonged exposure testing with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide on the plastics used in Spacelabs monitors.


Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) has recently made the news with portable facilities that are able to disinfect large quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Gaseous hydrogen peroxide has been shown to be effective against a wide range of bacterial and viral organisms. This method starts with 35% medical grade Hydrogen Peroxide. The Hydrogen Peroxide is processed in a Gaseous Decontamination Generator to create and maintain a vapor concentration ranging from 500 to 750 ppm. The VHP is injected into the closed chamber, where the Relative Humidity may be reduced to as low as 20% and the chamber temperature may be elevated up to 350 C. The highest concentrations at the highest temperatures and the lowest RH seem to be most effective in the shortest period of time.

One of the Spacelabs recommended cleaning solutions is 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Chemical exposure tests have been conducted with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (30,000 ppm) that simulate daily cleanings over the projected life of the product.

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