Too often, surgical instrument maintenance is overlooked. Improper care of your veterinary surgical instruments and equipment can result in costly repairs and replacements down the road, but if properly cared for, your investments can last through the life of your practice.
The first step in proper care is to begin the cleaning process as soon as possible after veterinary surgery, within 20 minutes.
Dried blood is the biggest enemy of surgical instruments. Even if your instruments are unable to be sterilized right after a procedure, washing instruments after surgery prevents blood from drying on them and is your best defense against staining, pitting and corrosion if you aren’t using a wetting agent like our
SS6 – Spectra Moist™
One of the most common problems our technicians encounter is damage caused by bioburden, and the use of improper cleaning solutions on your veterinary surgical grade instruments.
The following solutions cause spotting and damage to instruments
- Household cleansers
- Dish soap
- Chlorhexidine-based solutions
- Laundry soap
- Surgeon’s hand scrub
Cleaners should have a neutral pH, and state that they are intended for use or surgical steel, or surgical grade medical equipment. Instrument cleaning brushes are also useful in the hard-to-clean areas like jaw serrations, teeth, hinges, and tubing.
If you’re in a rush and need a pack right away – another effective cleaning route is to use an ultrasonic cleaner. It is 16 times more efficient than manual cleaning, and can dramatically decrease your cleaning time before sterilization.
Click Here to download our ABC’s of Instrument Care & Handling cleaning wallchart. It provides step-by-step recommendations and photos for proper care and handling techniques that will protect your investments for the lifetime.