Sterilizing Medical Devices
when cleaning medical devices
prior to sterilization
Cleaning surgical instruments is the prerequisite for disinfecting surgical instruments and sterilizing surgical instruments. If surgical instruments are not clean they cannot be disinfected or sterilized.
APIC ABSTRACT Paper presentation at APIC
Eighteenth Annual Conference and International Meeting
Oral Presentation, Ann Drake, President of APIC
John Temple Product Development
Validation of the microbial safety of medical devices following automated cleaning by a properly designed surgical instrument washer. After being cleaned in a properly designed Surgical Instrument Washer, that included using a four enzyme surgical instrument cleaning detergent, the evaluation of the surgical instrument washer using the proper sequence of washer treatments confirmed that the efficacy of disinfection was 100%. All instruments and utensils tested were sterile at the completion of the washing process.
A. Drake, RN and L. Ayers, MD.
The application of universal precautions to instruments/utensils handling became an issue in the selection of replacement decontamination equipment for Central Sterile supply at our hospital. The new technology of an automated thermal disinfection Surgical Instrument Washer Decontamination Washer Disinfector CESCO Mercersburg, PA offered increased protection to our reprocessing staff due to decreased handling but raised concerns about the efficacy of thermal disinfection as opposed to traditional washer sterilization. Because of the limited scientific documentation of this new technology, a study was undertaken to establish the microbial safety of finished products and to identify any feature or function failure which could adversely affect outcome. The Surgical instrument Washer Proper Sequence of Treatments used was: cold water pre-wash, enzyme ultrasonic sonic bath, detergent wash, purified water rinses, instrument lubricant rinse, and hot air drying at 240 F for 4 minutes. The Surgical instrument Washer Decontaminator was challenged with selected instruments and utensils that are considered to be very difficult to clean. Included were 30 each of stainless steel non-perforating towel clips and stainless steel and glass medicine cups. The instruments were processed in the Surgical instrument Washer during times of high volume operation. All medical devices were tested for sterility. All instruments and utensils tested were sterile at the completion of the process.
Ann Drake, RN, Director of Sterile Processing,
University of Ohio
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