How To Properly Sterilize And Maintain Surgical Tools - Hubspotnews

How To Properly Sterilize And Maintain Surgical Tools

All the equipment in hospitals goes through different processes before it is used in an operating room. Tweezers, surgical scissors, and other such tools are widely used. Disinfecting and sterilizing them is essential as these instruments come directly into contact with skin, bodily fluids, and mucus.

It is critical as it kills the bacteria and microorganisms which otherwise can contaminate the patient or the surgeon/doctor.

This article will discuss the cleaning and proper maintenance of these tools and, most importantly, how to do so.

The Cycle Of Cleaning Surgical Instruments

There are basically three cycles that take place, which are discussed in detail below:

Disinfection Is the First Step

Before cleaning, the employees wear gloves, masks, and protective gear to stop the transmission of microorganisms and particles from the tools.

Tools are first segregated by their type and the areas in which they were used to apply proper cleaning protocols. The tools go through a pre-treatment in which they are spread in such a way that they are easy to clean.

A splash of water with appropriate soap containing a protein-dissolving enzyme helps remove blood, tissue, and debris from the surgical scissors and tools. Instruments that require additional cleaning go through an ultrasonic unit, where they’re submerged in a solution at a maintained temperature to kill residual bacteria.

Cleaning For Substances

The tools are then cleaned manually or by using washing machines. Manual cleaning is used on delicate devices, which are curated and hard-to-reach instruments. The surgical scissors and other tools are later disinfected with an alcohol solution.

Mechanical instruments contribute to greater productivity, increase staff safety, and maintain consistency. These carefully curated machines maintain a delicate atmosphere and include two cycles; cleaning and rinsing.

Sterilization For Better Hygiene

This is crucial, as it prepares the tools for the next cycle.

After the tools are cleaned, they are transferred to the clean section of the sterilization department. This department doesn’t require hospital gear as the tools are already cleaned. An inspection of surgical scissors and other instruments is done before use to check the cleanliness and functioning of the tools.

For sterilization, the tools go through a heat vapor-induced channel that contributes to a thorough cleaning. These vapor channels have chemicals added to make the sterilization more prominent. However, some tools are heat and moisture intolerant and are chemically sterilized.

They should be completely dry before being sterilized.

Finally, the tools are inspected again. Soiled instruments are returned to the cleaning area, and broken tools are sorted out for repair. And they should be replaced from the replenishment storage.

Maintenance Of Surgical Tools

After the tools go through a cycle of disinfection, cleaning, and sterilization, they are packed up in boxes and go into the storage or replenishment room.

The tools are maintained through daily inspection for rust and other substances. Devices that don’t work are first fixed with a lubricant gel; they are sent to repair if they still don’t work.

All the tools are stored in a temperature-controlled area in individual packets, so specific tools don’t mix with each other. Note that tools should be used for their intended purpose. Once a month, they should be taken out for lubrication.


Disinfection and sterilization of these tools are crucial as they come into direct contact with patients and body parts. A strict observation should be performed so the protocols are followed.

Ensure the staff is aware of the solutions and practices so they don’t mix up body fluids and cause contamination. The machines and trays should be checked regularly for functionality and performance.

 Follow these steps to have a safe, clean environment for your organization.

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