Care and Maintenance of Surgical Instruments For Longer Life

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The medical gear and equipment can be expensive and needs a great investment for all medical professionals. There is a wide collection of surgical instruments that include microsurgery tools, hinged tools, sharp blades, tools with ratchet locks, etc. Every one of these tools will require you to take proper care. A responsibility that comes with operating with surgical tools is that you have to make them last longer and stay in good shape.

How Can You Take Care of Surgical Instruments?

Surgical tools are meant to be precise and durable because they guarantee your desired functions during a surgical procedure. When you’re reusing your medical gear and don’t take proper precautions, there can be chances of corrosion or the instruments not having any longevity. Thus, to make them function in a better way and not cause any harm to both the surgeons and the patients, you have to take care of your tools. So, how can you get started? Proper care of surgical tools needs to begin with proper inspection and cleaning. Here’s how you can start;

  1. Rinsing: After every use, it’s important to rinse all your surgical equipment with warm or cold water to get rid of all the foreign material such as blood or any type of body fluids. If the tools are not rinsed immediately after every procedure, the body fluids can dry. This can make the rinsing process difficult as the harmful materials will become coagulated.
  2. Washing: For this process, you can use different kinds of disinfectants to get rid of all the germs and pathogens present on the surface. There are different techniques for washing and cleaning the tools. You can choose a way depending upon the type of instrument you were working with.
  3. Storage: Storing the instruments in a suitable environment is also very important after you clean and wash them. Different types of surgical tools such as microsurgery equipment will need to be stored in proper storage compartments. You have to make sure that the external conditions are not harmful to the tools.

General Instructions for Handling Surgical Instruments

Some of the instruments need to stay sharp and precise if you want to use them in any medical procedure. This requires you to do maintenance and sharpening daily so there is no risk of corrosion. Instruments such as scissors, needle holders, knives and bone cutters, etc depend on their sharp and blunt nature so it is important to restore them regularly. If you take care of these tools properly, the equipment will last longer and will stay sharp throughout years. Here are some instructions you can follow while caring for your instruments;

  • Use plastic brushes that are stiff when doing any cleaning.
  • Do not indulge in using hard-wired brushes on stained surfaces as they can damage the tools.
  • Use only the detergents that have a neutral pH of 7 because any other detergent can result in the breakdown of the surface of surgical tools.
  • Moreover, if you choose a high pH detergent, it can cause brown stains all over the protective skin of the tools and you won’t be able to operate smoothly.
  • After cleaning, do a check-up to see no stains or leftover body fluids are remaining on any of the surfaces.
  • Another important step is to carefully examine if the blades attached to scissors are still intact in place. Often after rigorous cleaning and rinsing, the blades can loosen and you can test them on a piece of gauze. The scissors need to glide easily over any surface before you use them to operate.
  • However, when it comes to hemostats or needle holders, you need to make sure they lock and unlock easily. Before stepping into the operating room, you need tools that are functioning properly so check if the locks of needle holders are tight.
  • When you are cleaning and washing instruments, there are outer surfaces and hinged areas as well that need to be sterilized.
  • All the cutting and dissecting instruments must have undamaged blades after cleaning or you would not be able to perform your desired function.

Every instrument has its requirements and instructions you need to follow while cleaning and handling it. Before you start operating, you need to work with tools that are functioning properly. The only way to make sure of that is by having routine check-ups before and after every procedure. You must understand the delicacy and mechanism of every tool when you are cleaning it.

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Taking Care of Brand New Surgical Instruments

The medical professionals know that brand new surgical tools feel and look different. These tools are harder, sharper,  and feel stiffer when you touch them. As time passes, the instruments start aging and become softer and less sharp after cleaning and washing. The key to making them last longer is to make sure that you take extra care of the brand-new tools. All the tools will have to go through a period of softening as the time passes. The only way to delay the process of aging is by careful maintenance of all equipment. It means washing, cleaning, and letting the tools air dry, sterilizing them properly. After all these steps, you need to store them in favorable conditions as well.

Another way to increase the durability of these tools is by performing a careful inspection. After cleaning and drying, you can check if all the instruments were washed properly. Before and after every surgical procedure, you can carry out your inspection and reduce the chances of softening and corrosion even more. The surgical instruments will stay in good shape and will be fit to use when needed if you are keeping a close eye.

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