Today we’d like to talk to you about extending the lifespan of your surgical instruments. The key to their longevity is proper care and maintenance. While stainless steel is universally regarded as the best material for surgical instruments, it’s wrong to assume that it’s absolutely corrosion-resistant. You need to remember that stainless steel instruments maintain their properties only with proper care. As one of the leading surgical instrument repair companies in the United States, US Medical Systems recommends that you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and stick to these basic rules:
- Use instruments for their intended purpose only. Incorrect or mixed use can damage the instruments beyond repair.
- Instruments should be cleaned and dried immediately after use. If they aren’t, water and chemical residue will cause staining. Manufacturers recommend using distilled water and solutions with a pH below 10 for cleaning, rinsing, and sterilization. Always dry and sterilize instruments in an open position. Take extra care not to damage fine tips and cutting parts.
- Never use harsh solutions, abrasives, and steel brushes for cleaning and don’t place instruments in saline. A nylon brush is effective for manual cleaning as long as you pay special attention to any hard-to-reach and moving parts.
- Ultrasound cleaning is one of the most effective ways to clean surgical instruments. Don’t forget to lubricate all moving parts after cleaning and before placing them in the autoclave. Be careful not to exceed the recommended exposure time when using disinfecting and sterilizing solutions.
- Store your instruments in dry areas and make sure they’re thoroughly dried before putting them into storage. Regular surface inspections and functionality checks are an essential part of the care routine.
When it comes to instrument handling, care, and sterilization, special emphasis must be placed on hospital staff education and training since fully functional and sterile instruments are critical to patient safety. That’s why at USMS, we pay special attention to surgical instrument services and repair, as well as in-service education. Contact us to learn more about our on-site surgical instrument service and comprehensive repair programs.