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12 Tips for Instrument Care and Cleaning
If you take care of your instruments, they'll take care of you.
Mike Morsch
Publish Date: September 10, 2019   |  Tags:   Infection Prevention
TIP TOP SHAPE A preventive maintenance program is one of the most important parts of keeping your surgical instrumentation in top-performing condition.   |   Mark Voigt/CentraCare Health

Benjamin Franklin was right: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Pretty sure Mr. Franklin wasn’t talking about caring for surgical instruments, but we do know that taking these 12 preventive steps will pay dividends down the road.

1 Pre-enzymatic treatment. Make sure your staff gives your instruments a pre-enzymatic treatment immediately after use in the OR. As you know, blood is corrosive to surgical instruments.

“We use enzymatics to make sure the blood remains wet on those surgical instruments until they can get cleaned,” says Mark Voigt, director of sterile processing at CentraCare Health in St. Cloud, Minn. “If blood is allowed to dry, it can cause that pitting and rusting. It could be so bad that you have to replace the instruments, and that’s costly.”

2 Preventive maintenance program. Make sure you’re on a good preventive maintenance program. There are a lot of repair companies out there that will come to your facility and set up a program to have routine checks — for example, sharpening blades and making sure clamps are lined up properly — that will help instruments from becoming damaged beyond repair.

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