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4 Essential Steps for Proper Care of Surgical Instruments

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16/07/2020
4 Essential Steps for Proper Care of Surgical Instruments

Proper care of surgical instruments does not require much of your time nor is it difficult. Only 4 steps are enough:


CLEANING / DISINFECTION

  1. Within 10 minutes after use, remove the organic substances that have stuck to the stainless tools with running warm (not hot – below 45°C) water.
  2. In case of stubborn stains or spots with a rough surface (embossed, non-slip, etc.) it is advisable to rub with a special plastic brush. We pay attention to the corners andthe places where dirt can be trapped in general (e.g. the inside of the nostrils).
  3. We soak the tools in a container with a solution of detergent/disinfectant or just detergent according to the manufacturer's instructions. The same solution should not be used beyond the shelf life indicated on its packaging. Usually its shelf life is 5-7 days depending on the accumulated microbial load. It is important to mention that, in the case of rotating medical tools and endoscopes, it is recommended to use more special detergents/disinfectants for more correct cleaning.
  4. Let the tools dry completely in a special perforated container.

LUBRICATION

  • With the proper lubricating oil, we lubricate all parts of the tools where there is metal-to-metal contact such as hinges, joints, scissor parts, etc. The oil must be suitable for sterilizing.

INSPECTION

  • We examine each tool individually for any discoloration, alterations or dents.
  • We check any tools that have joints, that they can move smoothly. Tweezers and scissors parts aligned, automatic hooks lock & unlock safely, etc.
  • We check the cutting tools that they remain sharp. We can try to cut a layer of 1-2 gauzes or get special materials intended for this use.

 

ΑΠΟΣΤΕΙΡΩΣΗ

Ανάλογα με το τύπο κλιβάνου που διαθέτουμε, λειτουργούμε ως ακολούθως:

STERILIZATION

Depending on the type of sterilizer we have, we operate as follows:

LIQUID STERILIZER

  • We wrap the tools in sterilization paper or place them in sterilization cases. We ensure that the packages we prepared or the cases are at least 10cm wide.
  • Tools are always placed open and "unlocked" so that steam reaches all parts of the tools. We also do not overfill the furnace as this can create "air voids" that the steam cannot reach
  • We make sure that the sharp tools are placed in such a way that they do not scratch the other tools.
  • We don't forget to add the sterilization index
  • It is recommended to use deionized or distilled water for the proper operation of the furnace and for the best protection of the tools
  • The minimum recommended sterilization times in a wet oven are:

Temperature

Duration

121 C

15 min

126 C

10 min

134 C

3 min

 

DRY STERILIZER

  • We place the tools either in trays or in metal boxes. If you choose boxes it is important that they seal hermetically so that they can be stored without risk of loss of sterility.
  • Tools are always placed open and "unlocked" to avoid distortion due to thermal expansion
  • We make sure that the sharp tools are placed in such a way that they do not scratch the other tools
  • We don't forget to add the sterilization index
  • The minimum recommended sterilization times in a dry oven are:

Temperature

 Duration

160 C

120 min

170 C

60 min

180 C

30 min


Sources

"Sterilization and disinfection: terminology, devices and chemical methods of control of disinfection and sterilization" / Assoc. Prof. Georgia Vryonis, Microbiology Laboratory, Greek University of Applied Sciences

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