Bowie-Dick

Bowie-Dick HealthLink® Vacuum Test Pack (a Bowie-Dick type test) is a disposable pack used to evaluate the efficacy of the vacuum system of a pre-vacuum sterilizer. Performed daily, this test is a quick indication of sterilizer malfunction. This test is not a sterility test, but it is an integral part of a comprehensive sterility assurance program.

This test verifies that the sterilizer's vacuum phase is removing a sufficient amount of air prior to the introduction of steam into the chamber. It also tests for air leaks into the chamber during the sterilization cycle. This pack is not intended to evaluate if sterilization conditions have been achieved. HealthLink offers other indicators specifically for this purpose.

HealthLink® Vacuum Test Pack meets with ANSI/AAMI ST46-1993 standards as published in AAMI Standards and Recommended Practices, 1995.


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Item # Item Description Usage Stk-unit
3975 Bowie-Dick Vacuum Test Pack Steam Autoclave 1 Case (80 tests)
3980 Bowie-Dick Vacuum Test Pack Steam Autoclave 1 Pkg (20 tests)

  • Test sterilizer once a day.
  • Test at the beginning of each day. A shortened cycle should be used to preheat the system (i.e. omit the drying phase). If the sterilizer is in continual use, then testing can be performed at any time, but it should be tested at the same time every day.
  • Place the pack on the bottom rack in the front section of the sterilizer, near the door and over the drain.
  • The test is most accurate when nothing else is in the chamber, so do not use this cycle to sterilize items or packs. Other items in this cycle may invalidate the test.
  • Run a pre-vacuum cycle 3 to 3.5 minutes, no longer, at 134°C. You may eliminate the drying phase to save time without affecting the test.
  • After the cycle is complete, remove the pack and open to examine the indicator sheet. CAUTION! Test pack may still be hot so use caution when handling to avoid injury.
  • Record the necessary information on the sheet (or in a log book) and store for your records.
  • The filter paper pack can be discarded into a paper recycle bin.