By Trevor Horne

What Are the 5 Essential Ways to Clean Surgical Equipment?

Surgical equipment is crucial in surgical procedures. These instruments assist surgeons in performing various tasks like making incisions, removing tumours, and closing wounds. They can also increase a surgical procedure's accuracy and efficiency, reducing the required surgery time and minimizing the risk of complications. 

However, becoming a responsible surgeon goes beyond having a wide range of these essential tools. You should also learn to clean and sterilize them properly. Besides protecting your fellow doctors and ensuring your patients' recovery, this critical step will help keep the environment safe. 

If you want to deliver better patient care, we'll explain why you should clean your surgical equipment and enumerate the best methods. 

Why Should You Keep Surgical Equipment Clean?

Besides cleaning, you must also sterilize your surgical equipment to ensure patient safety. It’s the best way to prevent infections or diseases from spreading in hospitals. Doctors and nurses should also receive training on adequately cleaning and sterilizing medical instruments. Moreover, you must get tested for infectious diseases like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) if you’re experiencing symptoms. 

3 Ways for Cleaning Instruments 

After explaining the significance of cleaning and sterilizing surgical instruments, this section will enumerate three steps on how medical professionals sanitize them. 

1. Cleaning 

All medical professionals must prioritize cleaning before sterilization or disinfection at a higher level.

3. Disinfection 

Once you’ve finished the initial cleaning, you must disinfect the surgical instruments with liquid chemicals to eliminate bacteria that don’t create spores.

3. Sterilization 

You can eliminate disease-causing microorganisms and prevent the spread of bacteria and spores by using various sterilization methods available. Remember that the degree to which something needs cleaning or sterilization depends on its intended use. 

5 Easy Guidelines for Cleaning Surgical Equipment

Here are five ways medical professionals clean and sanitize their tools. 

1. Sterilization by Steam 

Autoclaves use steam to sterilize surgical equipment. They use high pressure and heat to kill microorganisms and clean the tools before wrapping and placing them inside the storage unit. You must also ensure the steam touches all equipment parts and have enough space for all the tools. Moreover, read the manufacturer's instructions before using these machines. 

2. Killing Germs with Dry Heat

When an instrument can't handle steam, or it may cause damage, dry heat is a suitable alternative. Although a slow process, it's effective and requires high temperatures and time. While it may be unideal for all materials, dry heat is usually the most dependable option. During this sterilization process, the machine kills the microorganisms by exposing them to approximately 340 degrees Fahrenheit air. 

3. Cleaning with Chemicals

Medical professionals use chemical solutions like ethylene oxide, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach to clean surgical equipment. They submerge it in the chemical until the pathogens die. However, remember that these chemicals can harm people. Once clean, rinse the tools and let them dry. You should also know you can’t sterilize some materials with these agents.  

4. Plasma Gas Sterilizers

Healthcare professionals use low-temperature hydrogen peroxide-based gas plasma to sterilize dental and medical equipment by killing all spores, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Although more expensive than other sterilization methods, it’s safer for the environment and medical staff.

5. Vapourized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) Sterilizers

This cleaning method uses hydrogen peroxide vapour. It’s like plasma sterilization but without plasma gas. The process removes moisture from the tool and injects VHP to kill the microorganisms. Once finished, the generator breaks down the vapour into safe and environmentally friendly components. VHP sterilization is also efficient due to its ability to clean multiple pieces of equipment simultaneously in a short cycle time.

Providing Safe and Efficient Services

Your patients deserve to recover from surgical procedures without complications. You can ensure their safety and protect your co-workers by thoroughly sterilizing your surgical equipment and knowing the most efficient way to do so. 

If you’re a surgeon that needs high-quality surgical equipment in Canada, visit ProNorth Medical! We’re one of the top medical tool suppliers committed to offering equipment suitable for your needs and budget. Shop our online store now!