Frequently Asked Questions
What is this FAQ About?
In this section, you will find a comprehensive list of FAQs organized in the sections General, Service & Sterilization.
The General & Service section will help you learn more about the quality of customer service you can expect from us. The Sterilization section will guide you on how to give your instruments a good start in life by adopting the recommended care procedures.
Q1. Who is Surtex Instruments?
A. Surtex Instruments® is a privately owned medical technology company dedicated to innovation and excellence in the craft of surgical instruments. The company started as a specialist instruments supplier to UK hospitals and gradually expanded to deliver globally. At Surtex® each instrument is meticulously handcrafted by the most qualified instrument artisans who exceed standards set out in CE, FDA and ISO 13485 requirements. Our commitment to providing a one-stop instruments solution ensures you can rely on us for a broad range of surgical specialities such as cardiovascular, orthopaedic, neuro, micro, ent, ophthalmic and more.
Q2. How can I buy Surtex Instruments products IN the UK?
We are en established supplier to the NHS nationwide, (England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) since 2010. We also supply Private Healthcare Providers (i.e One Healthcare Group, Aspen Healthcare etc).
Need A Price Quote?
We take out the wait and make getting price quotes fast, easy and efficient. Register for an account on our website and log in anytime to view product information and pricing. You can shop online OR submit a purchase order.
Alternatively, if your enquiry is urgent use the Quick Quote feature on every product page by completing the form or just send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org for a price quote stating the product code.
Note: You must be a medical practice/facility to purchase online. Please allow 24 hours from submission for account approval.
Need to Request A Sales Rep Visit?
Please submit your request via https://surtex-instruments.com/contact-us/ including your hospital name and address, contact number and any additional information that would be helpful to learn more about your enquiry.
Already Have a Purchase Order?
All purchase orders may be submitted on our website via https://surtex-instruments.com/contact-us/ or via email at email@example.com
Q3. How can I buy Surtex Instruments products OUTSIDE the UK?
A. Our products are available internationally in the USA, Europe, Middle East, Latin America & Africa. You can buy online or through our network of international distributors.
Need A Price Quote?
We take out the wait and make getting price quotes fast, easy and efficient. Register for an account on our website and log in anytime to view product information and pricing. You can shop online OR submit a purchase order.
Alternatively, if your enquiry is urgent use the Quick Quote feature on every product page by completing the form or via https://surtex-instruments.com/contact-us/ including the product codes/information in the notes section.
Note: You must be a medical practice/facility to purchase online.
Please allow 24 hours from submission for account approval.
Q4. How can I locate a Surtex Instruments products representative in my area?
A. Please contact us via https://surtex-instruments.com/contact-us/ and provide as much information as possible about your enquiry and we will ensure to assist you in the best possible way.
Q5. What does Surtex Instruments Lifetime Warranty mean?
A. Surtex Instruments are guaranteed for life against manufacturing defects of material and workmanship. This guarantee is void if instruments are not maintained properly, or if they are not used for their intended surgical purpose.
Instruments that show expected “Fair Wear & Tear” under ordinary use are not considered to be defective. Modifying or re-tipping an instrument or failure to provide proper instrument care, including proper cleaning and maintenance, may void this warranty. Sharpening and minor tip damage is considered routine maintenance with normal use, and are not covered by warranty.
Tungsten carbide inserts on scissors, needle holders and wire cutters are guaranteed for three years. Replacement parts, such as springs, are guaranteed for one year.
Surtex Instruments will repair or replace, free of charge, any surgical instrument that does not meet its functional requirements when used for its intended purpose and maintained properly.
Q6. Are there any other limitations on the Warranty?
Surtex Instruments does not accept liability if instruments are not used for their intended purpose or not maintained properly. We will not accept responsibility for products, which are not looked after as per our instruments care and handling guide.
(1) The use of commercial/residential grade washers; (2) The use of automated washer-disinfectors where manufacturer’s processing guidelines are not followed; (3) The use of cleaning solutions, chemicals, and/or procedures that are contrary to Surtex’s recommendations.
Q7. What warranty cover is available for non-instrument ranges?
A. All products are supplied with manufacturers warranty terms please refer to the documentation received with the product or contact us for further information
Q8. What is Surtex’s Policy regarding Ethical Trade?
Surtex has a clear and defined policy on the subject of ethical trade which can be viewed on our website under the About Us. http://www.surtex-instruments.co.m/ethical-policy
In this section, you will find out more about common questions related to customer service, repair and how to get the most of our website features.
Q9. What is Surtex Instruments Goods Return Policy?
A. In cases where Goods are not defective and the customer requests to return the Goods, Surtex Instruments shall be under no contractual obligation to accept the return except in the event of any error on its parts as to the amount or type of Goods delivered.
Any requests to return must be made to Surtex Customer Support Centre within ten working days of the date of actual delivery.
Error in Delivery by Us
The return of Goods to correct an error in delivery or ordering will only be considered if the Customer Care Team is notified immediately or in any event within 48 hours of delivery to the Customer.
Goods must be returned to Surtex Instruments within 5 days of delivery to the customer to correct an error in delivery or ordering.
For the avoidance of doubt, unless defective, the goods returned must be unused, undamaged and in the original packaging. The Goods must be the same batch as originally supplied by Surtex Instruments and are not falsified/counterfeit. All goods are individually assessed by Surtex Instruments before being authorised to return.
Return of Goods for any reason shall require prior consent from Surtex Instruments which shall be sent solely at the discretion of Surtex Instruments. To obtain consent, the Customer Care Team must be notified. Consideration to requests for a return may be given if:
– of a bona fide nature;
– made within 10 working days of the actual delivery; and
– unless defective, the Goods must be unused, undamaged and in the original undamaged packaging. The Goods must be the same batch as originally supplied by Surtex Instruments and not falsified/counterfeit.
Returns Merchandise Authorisation number (RMA)
On the customer contacting Surtex Instruments to request a return, the Customer will be issued with a returns merchandise authorisation number by Surtex Instruments. Goods returned without the prior written approval of Surtex Instruments may be returned to the customer or disposed of at the absolute discretion of the company.
Goods returned will be subjected to the following charges
– for palletised items there will be a standard charge of £75.00 per pallet for any return uplifted by Surtex Instruments
– for returns of small parcel there will be a minimum £15.00 charge per parcel and a 30% re-stocking charge.
– the event of return resulting from an error on the part of Surtex Instruments in relation to the amount or type of Goods delivered, no charges under this clause will apply.
Q10. How do I return a product for service and repair?
A. Please obtain a Returns Merchandise Authorisation number (RMA) by contacting us and providing details of your purchase. Once you have been issued an RMA we will ask you to complete a Goods Return Form and send it along with the shipment
Please clearly state details of the issue encountered if sending goods back under a warranty claim. Remember to include a business card with a contact, phone number and be sure to list any special requests or specific repair information.
All used instruments must be returned with a certificate of decontamination for the protection of our staff. Surtex will dispose of products sent without a certification of decontamination available from hospital CSSD departments.
We recommend using a service that you can track and is fully insured in case shipments are lost or damaged during transport.
Q11. How often do you recommend I service my instruments?
A. The requirement for service depends on several factors and there is no fixed schedule for repair and depends on need. Instruments must be regularly tested and inspected to ensure proper function. Below are a few basic indicators for different instrument types which when present would indicate a need for service.
Thumb Forceps – Ensure tips line up with regular fingertip and thumb pressure.
Needle Holders – Apply the first notch on the instrument ratchets and hold up the instrument to bright light. If the light is visible through the jaws it indicates a repair requirement.
Scissors. Open the scissors and inspect for pitting marks on the inside of each blade. Use rubber-like material known as Theraband to test scissors’ sharpness. Medium-grade red Theraband is used for scissors measuring 4.5 inches to 12 inches in length. Yellow Theraband is used for scissors measuring 3 inches to 4 inches in length.
Make several complete cuts through the material, cutting all the way to the distal tip (where scissors most often dull). This test will indicate satisfactory sharpness. If it does not make a clean cut or pulls on the material, it indicates a repair requirement.
Hemostats. The tips of the hemostat should meet symmetrically with no jaw overlapping. The ratchet should remain closed and locked in the first position when the handle of the clamp is tapped against hand palm.
Forceps. Tips should be aligned or interdigitate. The proximal end should be free of cracks.
Osteotomes, Gouges and Elevators. Inspect the tips for rough edges.
Retractors. The self-retaining retractors should securely lock at each ratchet increment and stay lock until intentionally released.
Q12. How can I obtain Surtex product catalogues?
A. You will find all Surtex products featured on this website organised by speciality and by type enabling you to search, select, view and download each product and its relevant catalogue page. If you need to a PDF version please visit our literature centre.
Q13. I have completed my purchase online on your website what happens next?
A. Once you complete a purchase online you will be sent a confirmation email to indicate a successful receipt of your order. A member of our sales team will then review the order and contact you if necessary before sending out an “Order Confirmation”
Q14. How long will my order take to be delivered?
A. Our range of instruments consists of over 11,000 instruments. We understand our clients value our speed and flexibility which can be credited in part to over 5,000 instruments we plan to keep in stock. When an item is not in stock the delivery times can vary between 2-8 weeks. If the delivery time is critical please contact us for a confirmed time before placing your order.
All deliveries are subject to our general terms of sale. Your order delivery time will be indicated on the “Order Confirmation”. While we exert our best efforts to meet the stated order deadlines sometimes delays can occur due to circumstances beyond our control.
Q15. Can Surtex custom laser etch my instruments?
A. We can custom laser etch your instruments with the hospital, department initials for identification or personalisation. There are typically character limitations depending on the size and space available on the area to be marked. If you would like custom laser marking please inform us at the time of placing your order.
Q16. Does Surtex apply a minimum order restriction?
A. We typically do not apply a minimum order policy and all order sizes are welcomed on our catalogued instruments.
Q17. Can you cross-match Surtex product codes to other manufacturers?
A. Our website is search technology is built on the latest elastic search technology and can provide instant cross-matches to over 150,000 different competitor codes from 100+ manufacturers. If you are still unable to match the code using our search please contact us with the competitor code/ product picture and our instruments experts will be delighted to assist you and provide you with a Surtex™ brand equivalent.
Q18. Can Surtex manufacture custom-designed instruments?
A. If you have a new innovative design or require modifications to an existing design Surtex will be pleased to hear from you. We are a leader in development, manufacturing and distribution for surgical. You can learn more about this service by visiting the link below. https://surtex-instruments.com/custom-surgical-instruments/
Q19. I have an innovative idea to develop a new product, how can I get Surtex involved?
A. Surtex welcomes innovate products and ideas, which help improve patient care. We would typically be able to contribute to a project in which you have developed 2D/3D drawings and are seeking a reliable partner to assist with prototyping to new product introduction and volume production. Please contact us to discuss further.
In this section you can learn about the commonly asked questions that make Surtex Instruments different. We answer questions to help understand how regulatory requirements and manufacturing process contribute to quality instruments.
Q20. Are Surtex Instruments Certified?
A. Our instruments are CE certified as per directive 93/42/EEC , US FDA and manufactured with adherence to ISO 13485 & ISO 9001 quality management system. We are independently audited by SGS UK regularly to ensure ongoing compliance of our products.
Q21. Are Surtex surgical instruments traceable using GS1 2D DataMatrix barcode?
A. All our instruments are laser marked with GS1 2D DataMatrix barcode to comply with Unique Device Identification (UDI) requirement. In addition, our instruments are marked with our brand logo, CE and product code.
Q22. How does Surtex Instruments inspect their instruments?
A. All items leaving Surtex facility are meticulously inspected as per our standard guidelines, which exceed international ISO standards. During the manufacturing process, each item is subjected to constant functional and visual checks by master craftsmen using the latest tools and optical technologies to ensure our standards are upheld.
Q23. Which types of stainless steels are used in the manufacture of Surtex Surgical Instruments?
A. Our instruments are manufactured using premium-grade European martensitic stainless steel in compliance with BS EN ISO 7153-1:2001 The martensitic steels used are magnetic, containing typically 12% chromium and a moderate carbon content offering a high level of corrosion resistance. Typically we use 410 / 420 types extensively for dental and surgical instruments since they offer a good combination of corrosion resistance and a range of mechanical strength through heat treatment.
Q24. What manufacturing tolerances are applied to Surtex Instruments?
A. Our Surtex Instruments are hand made to exacting tolerances by master craftsmen. As an example, international standards allow length variation of +/- 5.0mm in the manufacture of a mayo hegar needle holder whereas Surtex Instruments only accepts a tolerance of +/- 1.5mm. Tighter tolerances result in enhanced pattern consistency and reliability that clinicians demand.
Q25. What is the heat treatment procedure for Surtex Instruments?
A. Our instruments are vacuum heat-treated using special hardening and tempering procedures and are tested to ensure they conform to specified Rockwell HRC scale.
Q26. How does Surtex attach tungsten carbide inserts to surgical instruments?
A. Surtex Instruments use a technique called vacuum brazing to attach tungsten carbide inserts to surgical instruments. This unique method combines the brazing (attachment) with the simultaneous heat treatment of the instruments. The outcome is uniform hardness with no weak spots resulting is durable and long-lasting instruments.
Q27. How do Surtex Instruments protect instruments from corrosion?
A. To understand how we ensure instruments are protected from corrosion it is first important to understand the concept of “Passive Layer and “Chromium Enrichment”
When instruments are first manufactured they do not have a thick invisible (30 to 50 micron) passive layer but when exposed to air the chromium and iron present in the stainless steel are oxidized resulting in a slight passive layer. This layer is strengthened when the instruments are treated with chemicals to remove the iron from the surface but leaving chromium behind. i.e “chromium enrichment”. This is the critical metal that is responsible for the passive property of stainless steel.
At Surtex all instruments are passivated and corrosion tested as routine to ensure that they are able to withstand the rigours of disinfection/decontamination and heat-intensive autoclaving process. We go a step further than most manufacturers by performing the passivation step twice i.e once before laser marking and once after. This ensures that any damage to the passive layer from the laser marking heat does not compromise the protective passivation layer.
Q28. Is it possible to damage the instruments passivation layer?
A. An impact on the instrument surface which causes a scratch either through improper handling or through normal use can lead to damage on the passivation layer.
Damage is also possible due to exposure to harsh cleaners both highly acidic/alkaline. Constant use of de-stainers which are highly acidic can also cause erosion of the passive layer. Dried soil residue, overnight soaking in strong disinfectant solutions, exposure to saline solutions, chlorine or sodium chloride can be very detrimental to instruments passive layer.
Instruments Reprocessing FAQs
Surgical instruments are a major financial investment in every surgical facility, and processes should be in place to protect this investment. The life of a surgical instrument is dependent upon the way it is used and the care it receives. It is the responsibility of the surgical team and the personnel who process the instruments to handle them carefully, use them for the purpose for which they were designed, and process and maintain them appropriately. The extra time it takes to care for instruments properly is well worth the investment and is always in the patients’ best interests.
Spry, Cynthia. (2007). Care and Handling of Basic Surgical Instruments. Aorn. 86. 10.1016/j.aorn.2007.11.006.
Q29. What are Surtex Instruments recommended instructions for processing instruments?
Q30. Why must instruments be cleaned before being sterilized?
A. Cleaning should precede all disinfection and sterilization processes. Cleaning involves the removal of debris (organic or inorganic) from an instrument or device. If visible debris is not removed, it will interfere with microbial inactivation and can compromise the disinfection or sterilization process.
Q31. How should I treat brand new instruments?
A. Care for your new instruments should begin from the moment you receive them to give them the best start in life.
1. Initially remove all transportation packaging before placing in storage or instruments usage processing cycle. Any protective caps or foils must also be removed.
2. New instruments should put through the whole re-processing cycle separately so that they do not come into contact with other older instruments or instruments that may have corrosion present already. Our advice is to put them through the process at least twice but we appreciate that this is not always possible.
3. New instruments incorporated into sets that have corroded instruments present are more likely to corrode themselves relatively quickly until this passive layer has been established.
4. New instruments are vulnerable to poor water quality, used in both the cleaning process and final rinse, inadequate drying, poor maintenance and the steam quality of the sterilization units and will rust if not looked after correctly.
Please note before using new instruments they must be subjected to the same processing cycle of cleaning and sterilisation as used instruments. The cleaning step is highly critical because residues from packing material could lead to the formation of stains/deposits during sterilization. Following the cleaning step make sure instruments appear to be visibly clean. New instruments tend to be more sensitive than used to critical treatment conditions, as the passive layer on the instrument is comparatively thinner.
Storage Of New Instruments
1. Store at room temperature in a dry room/cabinet otherwise condensation may build up inside plastic package due to temperature fluctuation causing subsequent corrosion damage
2. Do not store near chemical such as active chlorine, which emits corrosive vapours.
3. Allow special care to
Q32. How to treat instruments with Tungsten Carbide Inserts during reprocessing?
A. Tungsten Carbide (TC) inserts are much “harder” than regular stainless steel and therefore retain their sharpened edges longer than stainless steel. However, TC inserts require special care and handling during reprocessing.
Ultra Sonic Cleaner
If an ultrasonic cleaner is utilised, please follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding solution dilution and the length of time the instruments are left in the solution. Please use only solutions that contain a corrosion inhibitor.
If a steam autoclave is utilised, please be sure to use a corrosion inhibitor – surgical milk “Cleanlact” and many products exist in the market place for this purpose. Please be sure that tungsten carbide instruments dry quickly during the “dry” or “vent” cycle of the autoclave – if the instruments are not drying or are removed wet, corrosion is still possible.
Q33. Should hinged instruments be sterilized in the opened or closed position?
A. Sterilization can be achieved only if the sterilizing agent (e.g., steam) contacts all instrument surfaces. Therefore, hinged instruments, such as hemostats, scissors, and extraction forceps, should be sterilized in the open position to ensure that the sterilizing agent adequately contacts all surfaces.
Q. What is Staining?
A. Staining is a surface deposit on instruments, and most often mistaken for rust. After autoclaving, you may notice a stain on your instruments. Rusting instruments are very rare. Stains on instruments appear in many colours and, in most cases, the colours tell you about the origin of the stain.
Q. What are the different types of staining and what do they indicate?
A. Orange/brown stain
The problem is most often a phosphate layer (brown to light orange) on the instrument, which develops as a result of any of the following causes: water sources, detergents used to wash and clean instruments, surgical wrappings, cold sterilization solutions, or dried blood.
The most common black stains are due to an acid reaction. Black stains may result from detergents used to clean the instrument; similar to brown stains caused by high pH in detergents. The black acid type stain can be caused by low pH (less than six) during autoclaving.
Dark brown stain
Dark brown stains are usually a result of dried blood left on an instrument. Blood should be removed from the surface of the instrument immediately. It will break down the surface of the instrument with a chemical reaction.
These are usually a result of plating and are extremely difficult to remove from the surface. The surface beneath the stain is always smooth, but the instrument may have to be refinished by Surtex to obtain good results. The cause for this stain is the mixing of dissimilar metals in ultrasonic cleaners and during autoclaving. Multi-colour stains are most often due to excessive heat (chromium oxide stains) and actually show rainbow colours with a blue or brown overtone. When the instrument shows these heat stains, it may have lost part of its original hardness, and may not perform well. These instruments can usually be refinished, and the hardness tested. The staining can be polished off.
May result from contact with ammonia. Many cleaning compounds contain ammonia, which remains on the Instrument if not rinsed thoroughly. Can also result from amine deposits traced in the autoclave or steam pipes. Follow autoclave cleaning with a cycle of distilled water.
Rusting instruments are very rare. What appears as rust is actually residual organic matters or mineral deposits in box locks, ratchets, serrations, hinges etc. which have been baked on to the surface.
Sterilization of stainless instruments together with plated instruments of dissimilar material should be avoided. Chipped or imperfectly plated carbon steel instruments will cause rust deposits on stainless steel instruments. Electrolytic action will carry carbon particles from the exposed metal on to the stainless steel surface. These particles promptly oxidize and the stainless steel instrument appears to have rusted.
A rust-colour film on instruments can be caused by high mineral content or by the use of water softeners.
Q34. What recommendation does Surtex Instruments give to prevent instruments from staining?
A. Never remove the final polishing film by rubbing or sanding. Never leave it in tap water for any length of time. Acidic or alkaline pH will remove chromium oxide and chlorite ions will cause pitting. Copper, iron and manganese will cause brown and blue rainbow effects. Distilled water with a neutral ph can be used sparingly.
To minimize staining, it is important that the autoclave runs perfectly, and that it has a well-functioning drying cycle. The instruments should come out completely dry, whether in wrappers or loose on a tray. If any moisture is left in the pack, or on the instruments, it will result in tiny water droplets on the instrument surface, which will leave a circular stain after drying. The colour of this stain will depend on the pH, as well as the mineral or metal contents of the water. If the drying cycle works perfectly, however, there is a much less chance for deposits to form on the surface of the instrument.
Stains due to metal deposits or plating stains are always near the most magnetic parts of the instrument. New instruments are often highly magnetic in the locks, the serrations and ratchets. This happens because the carbon steel tools used to work on the instruments during production are very magnetic themselves. This magnetism wears off gradually during handling and sterilization. This is the reason why newer instruments tend to stain more visibly. Rubbing the instrument with Surgical Instrument Oil, (also called Instrument Milk) and putting a drop of it between overlapping surfaces, will aid in keeping your surgical instrument for years to come.
Q35. How does Corrosion and Pitting occur and how to prevent it?
Presence of blood and soil in box locks, ratchets, serrations, hinges etc. can cause corrosion. More care should be taken in cleaning. Excessive moisture left on the surface of the instrument can lead to corrosion.
Preheat the autoclave, do not rush the drying time. Foreign matters deposited in the autoclave can result in spotting and corrosion of instruments.
Inner surfaces of the autoclave should be given routine maintenance. Wipe down with acetic acid (equal parts of vinegar and distilled water) to remove any impurities.
Stress corrosion can be caused by not opening box locks during the sterilization procedure. The heating-up and cooling-down process during sterilization can cause tension in the material.
When instruments are exposed to saline solutions, blood, iodine, potassium chloride and other compounds pitting will occur. Instruments should be rinsed thoroughly immediately after exposure.
Pitting can also be traced to detergents with a high pH level (B-9) used for instrument cleaning. Instruments should be thoroughly rinsed after cleaning.
It is impossible to completely restore an instrument after pitting or rust has eroded the hard surface. The instrument should be replaced immediately as a pitted instrument is far more susceptible to further corrosion.
Q36. Why is it important to use correct water quality during reprocessing?
A. The quality of water used during reprocessing is critical for the proper care and handling of instruments.
Water fulfils a number of functions during the reprocessing cycle.
1. Dissolves cleaners and other treatment agents
2. Transmission of mechanical forces and transfer of heat to the surface of the items to be washed
3. Dissolves soluble dirt and impurities
4. Flushes away cleaning and treatment solutions
Unfavourable water composition can have an adverse effect both on the treatment process and the appearance of instruments and materials. This is why water quality is critical during reprocessing cycles.
All-natural water contains dissolved salts, concentrations vary depending on the source of the water and purification processes used.
Depending on water hardness and temperature, freshwater used can lead to the formation of a hard layer (lime deposits, scale) that is difficult to dissolve. It is even possible for corrosion to occur underneath such deposits.
In softened water, alkalinity can greatly increase as a function of temperature and exposure. Especially when thermal disinfection is used in the final rinse, aluminium surfaces might be subject to attack.
When water evaporates, some substances contained in it remain as visible mineral residues. Chlorides dissolved in water are particularly critical substances because they tend to cause pitting even on stain-less steel instruments if present in higher concentrations.
To prevent excessive chloride concentrations and subsequent pitting we recommend using only fully demineralised water for the final rinse.
Other substances may cause brownish, bluish, grey-black or iridescent discolourations even when present in small quantities. Such discolourations may be caused silicates/silicic acids contained in the water, or by compounds containing iron, copper or manganese. As a rule, however, such discolourations are harmless, constituting very thin residual layers that do not cause or facilitate corrosion.
Apart from its natural constituents, drinking water sometimes contains rust, generally flushed from corroded pipework. During the processing cycle, this rust tends to adhere to instruments, causing rust spots (extraneous rust) and subsequent corrosion.
The use of fully demineralized water in the final rinse is not only recommended for the reasons described above (i.e. preventing chloride de-induced corrosion) but also because it helps keep the surfaces of the instruments free from stains and discolourations, and stabilizes anodized aluminium surfaces.
Q37.Which is the best method for cleaning instruments, manual (e.g., scrubbing instruments with a brush) or automated?
A. Debris can be removed from an instrument either by scrubbing the instrument manually with a surfactant or detergent and water or by using automated equipment (e.g., ultrasonic cleaner, washer-disinfector) and chemical agents. After cleaning, instruments should be rinsed with water to remove chemical or detergent residue. Splashing should be minimized during rinsing and cleaning.
Considerations in selecting cleaning methods and equipment include their effectiveness, their compatibility with the items to be cleaned, and the occupational health and exposure risks they pose. Because instruments cleaned with automated cleaning equipment do not need to be presoaked or scrubbed, the use of automated equipment can increase productivity, improve cleaning effectiveness, and decrease worker exposure to blood and body fluids. Thus, using automated equipment can be more efficient and safer than manually cleaning contaminated instruments.
Q38. How do I perform manual cleaning?
If manual cleaning is not performed immediately, instruments should be placed into a container and soaked with a detergent, a disinfectant/detergent, or an enzymatic cleaner to prevent drying of patient material and make manual cleaning easier and less time-consuming. Surtex also recommends using long-handled brushes to keep the hand as far away as possible from sharp instruments.
Q39. What type of personal protective equipment is necessary when cleaning instruments and surfaces?
Instruments should be handled as though contaminated until processed through the sterilization cycle (unless the instrument has been processed with a thermal washer/disinfector that has a high-level disinfection cycle). To avoid injury from sharp instruments, personnel should wear puncture-resistant, heavy-duty utility gloves when handling or manually cleaning contaminated instruments and devices. Because splashing is likely to occur, they should also wear a facemask, eye protection or face shield, and gown or jacket. Employees should not reach into trays or containers holding sharp instruments that cannot be seen. To reduce their risk of injury, they should instead remove instruments using forceps or empty them onto a towel.
“Proper Maintenance of Instruments” (www.a-k-i.org)
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