If you work in the Sterile Department, then you know how important it is to follow proper cleaning and reprocessing guidelines. These guidelines ensure that surgical instruments are properly cleaned and sterilized before being used on patients. We will highlight instructions for use cleaning and reprocessing guidelines so that you can properly clean and sterilize your surgical instruments.

Reviewing the manufacturer’s IFU prior to cleaning and reprocessing is essential for ensuring each item is properly cared for. Enzymatic pre cleaning should be performed immediately after surgery. Next, utilizing the three-sink system rinse, soak in detergent, then rinse again. Soft bristle brushes should be used for difficult spots, nothing abrasive or sharp should contact an instrument’s surface. Next, a mechanical wash will remove any remaining bioburden. Once complete, all instruments must then be visually inspected to make sure they are clean, and in exceptional working condition. Be sure to lubricate at all essential moving parts, wipe any excess lubricant. Sterilization requires 4 minutes of exposure time and 20 minutes of dry time, once complete you are ready for your case!

Everyone working in the department knows how often surgery asks to have trays turned over. A common technique used referred to as “flashing”. Flashing can be avoided with proper case preparation and planning. Always be sure when ‘quickly’ turning over sets to make sure all decontamination and cleaning instructions are followed. Wiggins Medical offers an animated IFU, that can be accessed or sent to your department for educational purposes.