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Last updated: July 06, 2020

Unclean Surgical Instruments Lead to HAIs

decontaminating surgical instruments cannulated tools scissors forecepsFor cleaning surgical tools, manual washing is inefficient and prone to error. In addition to being time-consuming (a single set can take 90 minutes to clean), cleanliness is affected by the staff's performance and training as well as the types of cleaning tools available. Instead of risking the spread of hospital-acquired infections and even patient deaths, a medical washer-disinfector provides a faster, easier, and much more reliable method of decontaminating surgical instruments to ensure that they're perfectly clean and safe for use. Read more about medical washers for surgical instruments. Available on Vizient GPO Contract #CE2900 (Vizient customers call for contract pricing.

Medical Washers Thoroughly Clean All Instruments

The estimated cost of HAIs per year is $16.6 billion. Luckily, this number can be dramatically reduced and patient safety improved with the simple implementation of the right medical washer to properly and thoroughly clean instruments. After a surgical tool is used, bioburden can still remain within it even after it's been cleaned. Manual tools may not be able to reach far enough to scrub it out, especially with cannulated and bent instruments that are difficult to clean.

The medical washer-disinfector surpasses AAMI standards for cleanliness and uses a multi-step process to completely clean surgical instruments in 32 minutes. Here's how it works:

  1. medical washer disinfector decontaminating surgical instrumentsCannulated instruments are attached to one of 24 ports. Non-cannulated instruments can be placed freely in the tray (and you can use your own baskets).
  2. Simply push a button to start the fully automated wash sequence.
  3. The tank fills with 120°F water and enzymatic solution that loosens debris during the 21 minute soak.
  4. During the soak, ports direct a flow of solution through the inside of the cannulated instruments.
  5. After the soak, ports are flushed with a mixture of air and fresh water and dislodges any bioburden with ultrasonic action. This occurs three times during the soak process.
  6. Cannulated instruments are rinsed with a 196°F fresh water flush for four minutes. This occurs three times during the 21-minute process.
  7. Drains are opened and the wash tank is emptied.
  8. An exterior rinse with 196°F fresh water is sprayed in the tank for another four minutes.
  9. A two-minute cold water ozone spray removes contaminates without leaving chemical deposits.

This quick and efficient process yields surgical instruments that are thoroughly decontaminated and ready for sterilization. With cleaner surgical instruments, we can help reduce the staggering 1.7 million HAIs per year and pave the way for patient safety and satisfaction.

Contact Us About Medical Washer Disinfectors

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for medical washer-disinfectors for decontaminating surgical instruments in healthcare applications. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs and specifications before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


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