Summary: It is a recognized risk of exposure to unidentified microorganisms that processing personal endure during the cleaning of instruments prior to sterilization. Our goal is to minimize the amount and degree of reprocessing personal exposure to this risk and provide surgical instruments that are safe to handle, safe for patient care, and are reprocessed at the lowest cost. The use of automated washer disinfectors for cleaning of instruments prior to sterilization and can minimize the risks to healthcare workers, reduce the costs of reprocessing, and render surgical instruments, utensils, and scopes that are clean and safe to handle.
Within the implementation of the Universal Decontamination Precautions and the protocol for cleaning surgical instruments prior to sterilization, it is our goal to eliminate exposure and/or reduce risk whenever possible. Many hospitals hand wash some of their reusable surgical instruments, utensils, and scopes. The most common example of is the manual washing is the cleaning of delicate surgical instruments, the most frequent manual reprocessing involved cleaning eye surgical instruments. Hand washing places the processing personnel at risk. In the decontamination area, surgical instruments are received that are contaminated with variable amounts of debris and unidentified microorganisms. In the clean side processing area, surgical instruments requiring further processing are handled by personnel wearing minimal protection due to the physical/mechanical requirements of reprocessing surgical instruments, utensils and scopes. Surgical Instrument Detergents that deliver the power of four enzymes effectively breakdown all forms of surgical soil. When cleaning surgical instruments prior to sterilization by hand can lead to injury and increased exposure to Hepatitis. The CDC believes that as many as 18,000 healthcare workers per year may be infected by the HBV and that as many as 300 deaths per year may result. Workers at Risk Cleaning Surgical Instruments Inherent in the manual decontamination process is power spraying, splashing, the creation of the contaminated aerosols and the potential for infectious punctured wounds. The handling of each individual device is time consuming, labor intensive, renders limited through-put and has high overhead costs. Exposure Contained by Automated Surgical Instruments Washers An automated decontamination system can, and should, safely contain within its chambers the forceful washing action, removal of debris and contaminated aerosols. The batch treatment of devices by washer decontamination saves time, increases material through-put, provides for FTE reduction, and lowers reprocessing costs.It has been demonstrated that a properly designed washer decontamination system, that delivers the proper sequence of treatments, when used properly, will consistently and repeatedly remove all microorganisms. Equipment should be used properly to secure the most consistent and efficacious results. Worker safety or processing efficacy can be compromised by violating the manufacturer’s recommendations. Examples of such recommendations are: using medical enzyme cleaners and detergents for chemical cleaning, assuring that the surface of all devices are exposed to the mechanical chemical cleaning treatments, keeping working chambers closed during processing, and using purified water for final rinse. Within the protocol for cleaning surgical instruments prior to sterilization, It is critical that devices are cleaned properly to secure the safety of workers in the prep and pack clean area. During the steps of inspection, sorting and packaging of devices, the unprotected processing personnel are repeatedly at risk from a device that has remained contaminated with microorganisms. The use of a properly designed decontamination system eliminates and reduces overhead cost and provides consistence removal of all microorganisms. Once a device is clean, it is then safe for further processing and handling. The protocol for cleaning surgical instruments prior to sterilization, is to deliver surgical instruments that are clean and safe to handle for reprocessing and are clean so that they can be sterilized. Surgical instruments that are not clean cannot be sterilized. Surgical Instrument Washers prepare surgical instruments for sterilization. Clean is the Prerequisite for Sterilization. Studies have demonstrated how properly designed Surgical Instrument Washers are able to deliver optimal cleaning using a combination of automated mechanical treatments. When developing the protocol for cleaning surgical instruments prior to sterilization,the chemical treatments involving a Medical Enzyme Detergent Surgical Instrument Cleaner with Conditioners and Lubricant. The purpose of a Surgical Instrument Washer is to deliver surgical instruments that are clean and safe to handle for reprocessing and are clean so that they can be sterilized. Surgical instruments that are not clean cannot be sterilized. Surgical Instrument Washers prepare surgical instruments for sterilization. Clean is the Prerequisite for Sterilization.