CARE OF STAINLESS STEEL INSTRUMENTS
List of Stainless Steel Instruments
1. Forceps — artery forceps, thumb forceps, Allis, Halsted mosquito. kocher. towel clips. sponge holding, chelates etc.
2. Different needles — needles used in IM,IV, SC injections; biopsy needles (liver. kidney etc)
3. Different scopes — blades of laryngoscope, bronchoscope, protoscope
4. Sharp instruments — surgical blades. Different scissors, razors
General Principles of Stainless Steel Instruments Care
• All stainless steel items are heat resistant, anticorrosive and long lasting but expensive, hence they should be handled well.
• They can be easily sterilized using chemicals and by autoclaving
• Immediately after the use, clean the instrument under running water of temperature not more than 450C because higher temperature may lead coagulation of tissue protein. A proper cleaning is as essential as the disinfection
• Disinfect or sterilize the instrument as per the manufacture’s guidelines or hospital policy. Always use a fresh disinfecting solution and use optimum concentration of disinfectant because higher concentration may lead to corrosion and lower concentration may lead to ineffective disinfection
• Powdered disinfecting products must be completely dissolved prior to immersing any instrument, since undissolved particles may lead to clogging of narrow lumens of instruments
• Do not boil stainless steel items repeatedly because this can cause corrosion and dullness of the instruments
• Sharp edges are dulled by rough use and expose to high temperature and moisture
• Immerse the sharp instruments in chemical disinfectants for prescribed duration because lower contact period could lead to ineffective disinfection and increased length of contact period may lead to corrosion of the instrument.
Care of Needles
Decontaminate all types of needles attached to syringes and flush with 0.5% chlorine solution/ chlorhexidine/ sodium hypochlorite immediately after use
Discard disposable injection needles with the syringe either in a puncture — resistant container or destroy the needle still attached to syringe with the help of a needle destroyer
Send the puncture – resistant container for incineration
Send stainless steel needles for autoclaving
Remove cannula/stilet of centesis and biopsy needles
Flush biopsy needles with a 0.5% chlorine solution, wash with soapy water and rinse in running water
Dry, pack and send needles for autoclaving.