Care and Handling Of Medical Instruments

Care and Handling Of Medical Instruments

Waleed Alabsi recommends doing proper care and handling of your medical instruments to improve their longevity and function. You must choose a protocol that is appropriate for your environment.

Care and Handling Of Medical Instruments

Waleed Alabsi recommends doing proper care and handling of your medical instruments to improve their longevity and function. You must choose a protocol that is appropriate for your environment.

Cleaning Techniques:

The following techniques are to be used in the cleaning of surgical products:


This is done immediately after the use of the instruments. rinse the surgical products under warm water to remove all body fluids and tissue. The presence of dried soils may cause damage to the instrument making cleaning very difficult. It is advisable not to use hot water as it will coagulate proteinous substances.

Waleed Alabsi says that temperature, time, and agitation are important factors in the cleaning process. Time affects the efficiency of the cleaning chemicals. Cleaning solutions with higher temperatures result in better cleaning. Manual or ultrasonic agitation helps loosen dried soils on the instrument surface.

Ultrasonic Cleaning:

Of the cleaning methods, Ultrasonic Cleaning is the most effective. It is the result of cavitation. Micron-size bubbles are created by vibrating sounds which grow with alternating pressure. When a resonant size is reached, the bubbles implode. This creates a force that dislodges particles and dirt. The cavitation rate is greatly improved by the use of ultrasonic detergent as opposed to plain water.

Procedure for Ultrasonic Cleaning:       

According to Waleed Alabsi, utilize the following process while doing ultrasonic

  1. As per manufacturer recommendations, mix enzymatic or other neutral pH or a mild alkaline detergent.
  2. If available, use deionized water.
  3. Degas the solution by running the ultrasonic cleaner for several minutes to obtain the correct temperature.
  4. Place the instruments in an open position in the ultrasonic cleaner. Surgical medical products with sharp blades should not be allowed to come into contact with other instruments. fully submerge the instruments.
  5. Dissimilar metals should not be placed in the same cleaning cycle.
  6. The instruments should be processed in the cleaner for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Use water to rinse instruments to remove the ultrasonic cleaning solution and any other remaining dirt
  8. Using a clean towel thoroughly dry the instruments. this procedure reduces the risk of the formation of water spots and corrosion.
  9. To improve the function of the instrument, use spray lubricant in the hinges.

Automatic Washer Sterilizers:

Waleed Alabsi recommends that you lubricate the surgical medical products after the last rinse cycle and before doing the sterilization cycle.

  1. Use a stiff plastic cleaning brush. Do not use wire brushes or wire brushes.
  2. Make use of neutral pH detergents. Low pH detergents may breakdown the stainless protective surface if not rinsed properly and cause black staining. The use of high pH detergents will cause surface deposits of brown stains which can interfere with the operation of the instrument.
  3. Carefully brush delicate instruments and handle them separately from the general instruments.
  4. Check whether all instrument surfaces are visibly clean and free of tissue and stains. Inspect for proper function and condition.
  5. Thoroughly rinse the instruments under running water.
  6. Using a clean towel, thoroughly dry instruments.


Use a corrosion inhibiting detergent to soak large non-delicate instruments when other cleaning methods are not practical. It is recommended to rinse and dry after soaking.



  1. Instruments that have metal-to-metal action should be lubricated.
  2. You can autoclave the instruments individually or in sets.
  3. Do not lock an instrument during autoclaving as this will prevent the steam from reaching and sterilizing the metal-to-metal surfaces.
  4. Make sure you do not overload the autoclave chamber
  5. Excess moisture formed can be absorbed by placing a towel on the bottom of the pan
  6. After the autoclave cycle unlocks the autoclave door. Perform the dry cycle for the recommended period by the autoclave manufacturer.

Cold Sterilization:

According to Waleed Alabsi, to render instruments sterile most cold sterilization solutions require a 10-hour immersion. For instruments with inserts made of tungsten carbide, do not use solutions that contain benzyl ammonium chloride.

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