Surgical Instrument Washers
Proper Washing Sequence
Disinfector Times and Temperatures
After being washed in a surgical instrument washer disinfector, that used the proper sequence of washing cycle times and temperatures with an enzyme surgical instrument cleaning detergent: all instruments and utensils were sterile at the completion of the washing process.
APIC Study accepted, presentation at APIC
18th Annual Conference International Meeting
A. Drake, RN and L. Ayers, MD,
Ohio State University Hospitals
Replacing the washer sterilizers due to inadequate cleaning, required testing a new technology of an automated thermal disinfection surgical instrument washer decontaminator, washer disinfector. The surgical instrument washer disinfector 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, that is clean and safe to handle, of washed medical devices and to identify any mechanical or chemical functional failure which could adversely affect washing outcomes.
The surgical instrument washer disinfector proper sequence of cycle treatment times and temperatures was: cold water pre-wash, enzyme ultrasonic washing, enzyme detergent washing, purified water rinses, surgical instrument lubricant rinse, and hot air drying at 240 F for 4 minutes. The Surgical instrument Washer was challenged with selected instruments and utensils that are difficult to clean. Included were 30 each of stainless steel non-perforating towel clips, stainless steel cups, and glass medicine cups. Each item was rinsed with a suspension of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus fecalis and Candida albicans in nutrient media and then dried. The instruments were processed by the surgical instrument washer disinfector during times of high volume throughput.
Washed Medical Devices Tested for Sterility
Ten separate cultures were taken of the final rinse solution of instrument lubricant and de-ionized water prior to the drying cycle. A separate culture was taken of the instrument lubricant fluid. All instruments and utensils tested were sterile at the completion of the process. The Surgical instrument Washer is a valid replacement for the conventional washer-sterilizer.
Ann Drake, APIC President and Director of Sterile Supply, University of Ohio
John Temple, Product Development, CESCO