Cleaning Surgical Instruments
Surgical Instrument Cleaners
Surgical Instrument Care
Your first-line-of-defense against Preventing Corrosion is maintaining the passive layer of Surgical Instruments. Initially, all stainless steel surgical instruments have the same corrosion resistance. When strength and effective in optimizing the efficacy of the passive oxide layer manufacturers of surgical instruments and surgical instrument containers recommend against using these detergents and recommend using a neutral ph detergent. More information and studies regarding the passive oxide layer of Surgical Instruments is below. Interpreting Rust STAINS or Spots
Stainless steel surgery instruments are made of corrosion resistant high-grade specialty steels. The key word here is “resistant”. Corrosion resistant does not mean corrosion proof. One of the special characteristics of these steels is that the manufacturer forms a "passive oxide layer" on the surface, which protects them against corrosion. This makes surgery instruments as corrosion resistant as possible. It is imperative that you maintain the passive oxide layer to prevent corrosion and maintain your surgery instruments in optimal condition. If this is not done the stainless steel will be more susceptible to corrosion, pitting and stains.This will reduce the life of the surgery instruments and/or render it useless. Initially, all “stainless steel” surgical instruments have the same corrosion resistance. When strength and hardness requirements are important factors for instrument function, corrosion resistance is generally lower. Increasing the corrosion resistance would soften the stainless steel. Manufacturers of surgery instruments and surgical instrument containers recommend the use of neutral pH cleaning concentrates. Newly developed neutral pH all-in-one or "combination detergent" cleaning concentrates have been shown to be effective in optimizing the efficacy of the "passive oxide layer". This will provide a longer life for stainless steel surgery instruments. Cleaning concentrates with a high or low pH have been shown to erode the passive layer. The most common of these cleaning concentrates utilize an alkaline detergent with an acid neutralizer. Virtually all manufacturers of surgical instruments and surgical instrument containers recommend against using these detergents and recommend using a neutral ph detergent. More information and studies regarding the "passive oxide layer" of Surgical Instruments is below. Yellow-brown to dark-brown stains or spots on surgical stainless steel instruments are frequently mistaken for "rust". These residue deposits (stains or spots arranged in groups or along edges or in crevices) are usually the instrument being exposed to result of high chloride content. They will lead to pitting of the surgical instrument surface if not removed. (see Avoiding High Levels of Chloride below) Excessively hard water can contain high levels of salt sufficient to cause stains or spots that appear as rust. Boilers used to generate the steam for steam sterilizers, if not cleaned properly, will produce contaminated steam which can deposit minerals onto instruments during the sterilization process.
Virtually all manufacturers of surgical instruments, rigid scopes, flexible scopes, and instrument containers recommend the use of neutral pH Cleaning Concentrates. Do not use high acidic (pH <4) or high alkaline (pH >9) products for disinfection or cleaning, since these can corrode metal, cause discoloration or stress fractures.
Clean instruments, or apply treatment to prevent the drying and encrustation of debris, as quickly as possible after use. Do not allow blood and debris to dry on the instruments. If cleaning must be delayed, place groups of instruments in a covered container with appropriate enzyme-detergent or apply an enzyme-detergent foam spray to delay drying. The use of pre-soaking enzyme-detergent foam sprays have been shown to reduce the time expended for manual cleaning and render higher quality outcomes. After surgery, open all box locks and disassemble instruments with removable parts. This will limit blood drying on instruments that may cause them to corrode.
Staining and spotting may result if residual chemicals are not completely rinsed from surgery instruments that are subjected to steam sterilization. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper sequence of treatments (cold water pre-wash, enzyme-detergent wash, purified water rinse/lubrication, and drying) is critical to prevent stains and spots. A Cleaning Concentrates that will avoid spotting are "free-rinsing" or "rinse clean".
Stainless steel is essentially a low carbon steel which contains chromium at 10% or more by weight. It is this addition of chromium that gives the steel its unique stainless, corrosion resisting properties. The chromium content of the steel allows the formation of a rough, adherent, invisible, corrosion-resisting chromium oxide film on the steel surface. If damaged mechanically or chemically, this film is self-healing, providing that oxygen, even in very small amounts, is present. The corrosion resistance and other useful properties of the steel are enhanced by increased chromium content and the addition of other elements such as molybdenum, nickel and nitrogen. Stainless steel has a passive film created by the presence of chromium (and often other alloying elements, nickel, molybdenum) that resists this process. When exposed in air, stainless steels passivate naturally (due to the presence of chromium). But the time required can vary. In order to ensure that the passive layer reforms rapidly after pickling, a passivation treatment is performed using a solution of nitric acid and water.
How is the passive oxide layer Manufactured and Maintained
The passive layer or stainless steel is intended to prevent or resist corrosion. The process is called “Passivation”. “Passivation” and Polishing eliminate the carbon molecules form the instrument surface. This forms a layer which acts as a corrosive resistant seal. Passivation is a chemical process that removes carbon molecules from the surface of the instrument. This chemical process can also occur through repeated exposure to oxidizing agents in chemicals, soaps, and the atmosphere. Polishing, by the manufacturer, is a process used to achieve a smooth surface on the instrument. Surgical Instruments are polished because the passivation process leaves microscopic pits where the carbon molecules were removed. Polishing also builds a layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the surgery instrument. Proper cleaning, handling, and sterilization will build up the layer of chromium oxide and protect the Surgical Instrument from corrosion and /or pitting. In some circumstances older instruments have higher resistance to corrosion than new ones. The newer instruments have not had the time to build up the chromium oxide layer. Improper cleaning and sterilization can cause the layer of chromium oxide to disappear or become damaged thus increasing the possibility of corrosion and/or pitting. Proper cleaning and sterilization can cause the layer of chromium oxide to improve over time thus decreasing the possibility of corrosion and/or pitting. Second only to the financial asset value of the working staff, the surgery instrument and scope inventory is the single most financially valuable asset of the healthcare facility. It is important to properly clean, sterilize, handle, and store your instruments.
Enzyme Surgical Instrument Detergent, and we guarantee it. Surgical instrument Cleaner Endoscope Cleaner Enzyme Detergent Product Usage: The optimal temperature for maximum Surgical instrument Endoscope Enzyme Detergent Cleaners cleaning performance peaks at 137 degrees Fahrenheit (137 degree Fahrenheit = 58.33 degree Celsius). The cleaning activity of the enzyme detergents at temperatures below and above this point is less but does offer cleaning value. The cleaning activity of Surgical instrument Endoscope Enzyme Detergent Cleaners does not stop at this temperature but is does lessen as the temperature.