MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS CARE AND HANDLING
Instruments Care and Handling
- Medical Tools Instruments last for years with proper care and handling. Please use these guidelines for all stainless steel instruments.
- Brand new instruments should be cleaned prior to first sterilization.
- Contaminated instruments should be processed as soon as possible.
- Stubborn protein particles can be removed with a scrub brush. Never use steel wool, abrasives or an acid rinse.
- Open joints on instruments prior to preparation
- Do not use multipurpose detergents to wash or soak instruments. Instead, use a low-suds detergent specifically designed for instruments. The pH should never be higher than 8. When using ultrasonic, a detergent with a pH of 6, 7 or 8.
- Lubrication is vital to a long instrument life.
- Avoid silicone lubricants because they tend to build up and mix with debris to clog moving parts, which becomes almost impossible to remove. Debris buildup can have a “rust-like” appearance.
- Rinse your cleaned instruments in demineralized water. Be sure to remove all residual cleaning compounds before sterilization, as they can cause stains.
- Dry the instrument thoroughly after rinsing.
The best time to check instruments is after they have been cleaned, lubricated, and have cooled off.
Please check the following:
- Function Checkup:
Instruments which have been dropped or otherwise damaged should be inspected carefully for cracking, bent tips or breakage.
Inspect the surface for any signs of staining or other irregularity. If you find any staining, investigate the source and avoid it in the future.
Common Reasons for Stains
Inadequate cleaning, mixing dissimilar metals, water impurities, unsuitable or improper preparation and usage of cleaning and disinfecting or maintenance agents, Non-Compliance with operating procedures of cleaning and sterilizing equipment.
Allow instruments to dry thoroughly before storing them in a clean, dry environment. Never store them in an area where chemicals may emit corrosive vapors or where temperature and moisture variations may cause condensation on the instruments.
Rinse soiled instruments immediately.
Thoroughly clean before autoclaving.
Autoclave and sterilize instruments in an open position.
Do not pile up or entangle instruments.
Follow the recommendations of the equipment and solution manufacturers.
Keep instruments properly lubricated.
Inspect instruments regularly.
Instrument Care & Protection Guide
The high-grade instruments are a valuable asset. The following guide will help to protect and enable you to use them for many years.
Medical Tools stainless steel instruments are made of corrosion resistant, high grade, specialty steels which can meet the varying requirements of cutting, clamping, retracting,
One of the special characteristics of our tools is “Passivation”, tools surface is passivated through a proper process which protects against corrosion. These layers can be thought of as an invisible patina. With repeated use and exposure to the air, this oxidation process continues, making the instrument, even more, corrosion-resistant with proper maintenance.
Every effort is made in the manufacturing process to make the instruments corrosion resistant, however, instruments must be treated properly. If not, the steel can rust or stain, reducing the life of the instrument or even rendering it useless.
Instruments are designed for a particular purpose and they should be used for only that purpose. It is important to choose the proper instrument for the task to be accomplished. For instance, a nail nipper should not be used to cut wire.
Because tap water contains many minerals which may cause discoloration and staining, we recommend the use of distilled water for cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing and rinsing instruments. To avoid staining, use a cleaning solution with a pH near neutral (7). If you do use tap water for rinsing, please make sure you dry the instrument thoroughly to avoid stains.
Brand New Instruments
Newly purchased instruments must be cleaned, lubricated and autoclaved before use.
When handling instruments be very careful not to damage their fine tip and mechanisms. If instruments are exposed to blood, tissue, saline or any other foreign matter, these must be rinsed in warm (not hot) water before these substances are allowed to dry. After rinsing, immerse them in a cleaning solution.
A number of compounds, such as certain chemicals, are highly corrosive to stainless steel. To be on the safe side, rinse and dry instruments immediately in case they have come in contact with any potentially harmful substances. If no ultrasonic cleaner is available, clean the instrument very carefully. Pay particular attention when cleaning the box-locks, serrations, hinges and all other hard to reach areas. Use nylon (not steel) brushes (such as a toothbrush), and warm (not hot) cleaning solutions. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for preparation of cleaning solutions.
This is by far the most effective and most efficient way to clean instruments. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for mixing the solution and the duration of the cleaning cycle.
Before putting soiled instruments into an ultrasonic cleaner, we recommend that they should be cleaned in a cleaning solution, of all visible debris clinging to them.
Please observe the following:
- Do not mix dissimilar metals (like chrome and stainless) in the same cycle.
- Open all instruments so ratchets and box-locks are accessible.
- When loading, avoid pilling instruments on top of each other. This could damage delicate instruments.
- After the cycle is finished, remove the instruments, rinse and dry them off immediately.
- Also, allow them to air dry thoroughly.
Lubrication and Autoclaving
Autoclaving is no substitute for cleaning. If the instruments are not thoroughly cleaned beforehand, irreparable damage may occur during the autoclaving process.
Before autoclaving, lubricate all instruments with moving parts, such as box-locks and hinges. Use surgical lubricants, not industrial oils.
Always sterilize instruments in an open or unlocked position.
DO NOT overload the chamber and be sure to stack the instruments carefully so no damage occurs to the delicate instruments.
It is recommended that the instruments be wrapped in cloth inside the container or that cloth be placed on the bottom of the pan to absorb moisture. The cloth should be pH (7) neutral and have no residue of detergents.
During and after the drying cycle, avoid cooling the instrument suddenly. This can happen when a rush of cold air enters the autoclave chamber or when the hot instruments are placed on a cool, metal surface. If this happens, condensation can occur which may result in the staining of the instruments.
Cold Sterilization and Disinfection
Prolonged immersion in disinfection or sterilization solution can be detrimental to surgical instruments. We recommend that do not immerse the instruments longer than twenty minutes. To render the instruments sterile and ready for use, we recommend the use of an autoclave cycle. this saves time and is more gentle to the instruments. Rinse and dry instruments thoroughly after