Clean is Safe Cleaning Surgical Instruments
It is a recognized risk of exposure to unidentified microorganisms that reprocessing personal endure during the decontamination, reprocessing, and cleaning of surgical instruments. Our goal is to minimize the amount and degree of reprocessing personal exposure to this risk and provide reprocessed surgical instruments that are clean and: safe to handle, safe for use, and are reprocessed at the lowest possible cost. Optimal decontamination cleaning of surgical instruments secures the prerequisite for disinfecting surgical instruments and for sterilizing surgical instruments.
Healthcare workers hand wash surgical instruments
surgical instruments that have dried on or excessive debris. Healthcare workers manually clean surgical instruments, when a surgical instrument washer disinfectors is not available. Hand washing surgical instruments can place the reprocessing personnel at risk. In the decontamination area, surgical instruments are received that are contaminated with debris and unidentified microorganisms. In the "clean side" reprocessing area, surgical instruments requiring further reprocessing, are handled by unprotected reprocessing personnel. The medical devices being processing in the "clean side" area have been decontaminated and cleaned, making the mdical devices "clean and safe to handle".
CLEANING SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS BY HAND CAN LEAD TO INJURY AND INCREASED EXPOSURE TO HERPATITIS. THE CDC BELIEVES THAT AS MANY AS 18,000 HEALTH CARE WORKERS PER YEAR MAY BE INFECTED BY THE HBV, AND AS MANY AS 300 DEATHS MAY RESULT ANNUALLY.
Inherent in the manual cleaning-decontamination-reprocessing of surgical instruments is power spraying, splashing, and the creation of contaminated aerosols. The hand washing of surgical instruments (manual cleaning decontamination reprocessing) presents the risk of infectious puncture wounds. The handling of each individual surgical instrument device is time consuming, labor intensive, renders limited through-put and has high overhead costs.
In the United States manufacturers of Surgical Instrument Washers are not approved by the FDA to market their products as "Washer Disinfectors". However, many of the Surgical Instrument Washers are manufactured to produce the times and temperatures that can effectively deliver disinfected surgical instruments. If it is your preference to have the cleaning reprocessing results of a "washer disinfector", refer to the washer specifications for assurance that the times and temperatures being used are those you consider to be appropriate for disinfecting surgical instruments.
The use of proper methods for hand washing surgical instruments, (reprocessing decontamination) can render surgical instruments that are clean, but requires the continual exposure of the reprocessing staff to contaminated surgical instruments. The reprocessing staff performance is influenced by skill level, knowledge and work load. This may impact the efficacy of the process. The use of properly designed surgical instrument washer disinfectors reduce the: overhead cost of reprocessing, risks to the reprocessing staff and provides for the removal of all microorganisms from soiled surgical instruments.
Once a surgical instrument is clean, it is then safe for handling. Proper cleaning is the prerequisite for disinfecting and sterilizing surgical instruments.