surgical instruments cleaning

Washing & Cleaning:

The nature of tap water differs from place to place. Somewhere it may contain minerals or other elements which may react with the metal. Washing with such a type of tap water may cause staining and change of colour. It is recommended to use distilled water instead, for cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing and rinsing surgical or dental instruments.

Developing stains on surgical instruments could be avoided by using a cleaning solution, with a pH close to neutral. It is of utmost importance that contamination particles must be removed as soon as possible. The stiffly deposited contamination could be removed with a scrub brush, made of nylon. However, any abrasives or acid rinse must not be used for removing these contaminations. Doing so may change the surface of the instrument.

If surgical instruments remained exposed to blood, tissue, saline, etc., these must be rinsed with warm water before these substances get dry. After rinsing, dip them in a cleaning solution that is not corrosive to stainless steel. Proper attention must be waged while cleaning the box-locks, serrations, hinges and all such parts & areas where the surface is not plain.

Checking surgical Instruments

Inspection must be carried out regularly after washing. It’s the only way to audit how good it is washed and cleaned. Ignoring inspection may lead to irreparable damage to the instrument.

Functionality of surgical instruments:

Overall, there must not be any undesired or over movement in the parts of the instrument. Instrument mend for cutting must cut cleanly and close properly. Needle holders and clamps must engage properly and meet precisely at the ending tips. Instruments must also be inspected for cracks, bends, damaged tips, etc

Surface Inspection:

Inspect the surface for stains or other unevenness. Investigate the reason if any stain is observed. The common reason is improper cleaning, mixing instruments made up of different metals, water impurities, improper cleaning and disinfecting or maintenance agents is not suitable, The instrument may not have been stored in a proper environment.

Here is a small checklist

  • Any surgical instrument or dental instrument whether just bought new and is about to be used the first
    time should be cleaned thoroughly before it is sterilized.
  • Any contamination must be removed as soon as possible
  • The instrument must be in the open position before wash & autoclave
  • Never use tap water or ordinary detergents for washing instruments
  • Never use abrasives or acid for removing debris instead use a nylon brush
  • Rinse soiled instruments at earliest possible
  • Instrument must be thoroughly cleaned before autoclaving
  • Do not pile of many instruments for autoclaving
  • Keep instruments properly lubricated.
  • Instruments must be dried completely before storing them in a clean, dry environment.
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