Medicine has evolved enormously over the last century and this has been noticeable especially in the medical procedures that have emerged. However, almost the same thing happened with medical instruments. It is hard for us now to imagine how it would be if doctors would not have all that instruments to investigate and treat the conditions we suffer from… Probably the situation would be as bad as if we would have no drugs. Not being able to put into practice the things you can do because you lack the instruments is just as bad as not knowing how to do it.
Surgical instruments in particular are extremely varied, from all points of view. Most of them can be used only by a specialist. We refer here to cutting instruments, instruments for exposing tissues and organs, instruments for suturing and more. Normally, an ordinary person has nothing to do with them and they are not even available on the regular market.
The surgical instruments are made of special materials, which is why they are quite expensive. But the medical act depends greatly on the quality of these materials. Surgical instruments must be purchased from reliable providers to ensure that you receive the quality you need. Specialists must not compromise on quality, as it can affect their performance and the patient’s condition.
A surgeon who works with scissors that do not cut cleanly, uses clamps that do not grip properly or does not sterilize their instruments sacrifices the quality of medical care and the safety of the patient, who may undergo longer surgery, longer recovery and unnecessary trauma (internal and emotional). Surgical instruments are designed for great precision; precision is almost impossible to achieve without adequate surgical assets.
Some instruments are disposable, but others may be used for a longer period provided they are disinfected, sterilized, inspected and properly maintained.
Let’s see in what these operations that are so important in maintaining the qualities of surgical instruments consist of.
Before the disinfection process begins, the instrument must be clean – remove traces of any substance remaining on the instrument by rinsing it with softened water to prevent deposits of washing agents.
Surgical tools can be disinfected in two ways: chemically and thermally.
- Use automatic equipment with vacuum pump (autoclave type) that steam-sterilizes at 121° C or 134° C.
- DO NOT process the instrument in hot air sterilizers.
- Use the sterilization equipment`s controls / indicators to check the sterilization process.
- Use accessories recommended and accepted by the manufacturer of the sterilizer.
- Make sure the sterilization bags are correctly placed (paper on paper and plastic on plastic); select the appropriate sterilization program for each load.
INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE
- Examine each surgical instrument carefully for any cracks, dents, deformations and functional defects. Particularly check the active areas, such as blades, tips, handles, blockers, locks, as well as the moving parts.
- After each cleaning, check by testing the surgical instruments for their basic properties: fastening, cutting, fixing etc.
- Instruments with malfunctioning, worn, corroded, deformed or damaged in other ways must be replaced with new ones.