Instruments Care

 Always

 Never

  1. Check all instructions for use and sterilization of new instruments. Unless otherwise directed they should be inspected, cleaned, rinsed and lubricated before being put into service.
  2. Lubricate after cleaning with a proprietary water-soluble instrument lubricant.
  3. Ensure all instruments are only used for the purpose for which they were designed.
  4. Handle all instruments gently. Never overstrain, drop or misuse them.
  5. Check all instruments for damage after use, especially microsurgical and insulated instruments.
  6. Dismantle, clean and decontaminate all instruments in cold water as soon as possible after use, giving particular attention to serrations, joints and ratchets. Failure to do so may result in the instrument becoming stained with the possibility of stiff joints.
  7. Give special attention to microsurgical instruments. Their fine tips can easily be damaged by contact with other instruments or the sides of the case in which they should be kept. Hand cleaning is preferable.
  8. Ensure that the detergent is of the manufacturers recommended strength if ultrasonic or cleaning machines are used.
  9. Ensure all instruments are thoroughly dried before being stored.
  10. Pack instruments carefully with the heavier ones lying on a piece of cloth or towel at the bottom.
  11. Store and sterilize bow handled instruments on a special holder. Always leave racks and ratchets open.
  12. Check the hardness of the water used in the autoclave. Too hard water will leave a deposit on the instruments.
  13. If a water softener is used ensure it is at the manufacturers recommended level. Too much may cause discoloration or pitting.
  1. Misuse surgical instruments or overstrain joints or racks.
  2. Leave soiled instruments to dry. If it is impossible to clean them immediately after use, soak them in cold water for as short a period as possible.
  3. Use abrasives on instruments as this will spoil the surface finish. This may later cause discoloration, rusting or pitting.
  4. "Impact" mark or "vibra-etch" instruments. This can lead to failure of the instrument at a later date.
  5. Handle microsurgical instruments by their tips. These should be cleaned by trained personnel only who will ensure the delicate working ends are adequately protected during storage or sterilization.
  6. Dismantle, clean and decontaminate all instruments in cold water as soon as possible after use, giving particular attention to serrations, joints and ratchets. Failure to do so may result in the instrument becoming stained with the possibility of stiff joints.
  7. Pack microsurgical instruments with other, heavier instruments. Remember always - heavy instruments on the bottom and light instruments on the top.
  8. Use general purpose oils for instruments, only water soluble lubricants should be used.
  9. Use forceps to handle endoscopes. This will help to avoid them being scratched, dented or dropped.
  10. Leave instruments soaking longer than necessary in chemical sterilizing solutions. After they have been sterilized they should be washed thoroughly in warm water to remove all traces of the chemicals to prevent discoloration or pitting.
  11. Store damp instruments. They must be thoroughly dried first.