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Cleaning Surgical Instruments

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It’s important to take good care of your expensive surgical instruments. In this video, Sarah Crisp demonstrates how to clean dirty surgical instruments. Initial scrubbing, ultrasonic cleaning and instrument lubrication are all discussed.

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Sarah Crisp's picture
Sarah Crisp

Enrolled: 08/2011

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Christina Wynne's picture

The water temperature for manual cleaning is based on what is recommended by the manufacturer of the cleaning solution. Yes, water temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit will cause coagulation (denaturing) of proteins on the instruments but, if the water temperature is too cold, it may not activate the cleaning agents in the solution and thus not properly clean the instruments. Average temperature ranges for manual cleaning should be between 80 degrees and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This is usually the same temperature range for detergents used in Ultrasonic Cleaners, but always check and abide by the manufacturer's recommended directions for use of their products.

Only brushes designated for cleaning surgical instrumentation should be used in cleaning instruments. Toothbrushes, depending on the firmness, maybe too hard (abrasive)or too soft to properly remove soil from the instruments. Also, instruments should always be scrubbed below the surface of the water to prevent blood/bio burden/ contaminated water from spraying back onto you. Always wear a fluid resistant gown and eye protection when manually cleaning surgical instruments.

Megan Brashear's picture

Thanks Christina for all of that instrument info! Important points to remember with those expensive instruments.