During invasive operations, a surgical tool or medical device comes into touch with a patient’s mucous membranes or other sterile tissue. Pathogenic bacteria can be introduced during these types of surgeries, which poses a serious danger of infection. Because host defenses are breached when ENT instruments and other equipment are not properly sterilized or disinfected, the danger of infection rises.
For rodent surgery, instruments should also have the right size. Using tools that are excessively large will result in poor technique and more tissue trauma since they will cause exaggerated hand motions and less surgical precision.
Instrument Use and Selection
Glass bead sterilizers are said to cause instruments to become brittle and dull over time if used repeatedly. Any tool that is often used, handled roughly, or cleaned with abrasive agents runs the risk of being dulled or destroyed. Instruments should be evaluated frequently and changed as needed. Scissors and other pointed objects can occasionally be re-honed to increase lifespan. After each use, instruments need to be gently cleaned to ensure that all blood and tissue have been removed. In this process, ultrasonic cleaning can be helpful. Your instruments’ lifespan will be increased with proper care, which will also assist protect your investment.
A “surgical pack” is used to hold equipment and other materials before operation. The surgical pack must preserve the sterility of its contents until usage in surgery in addition to holding the supplies and instruments during sterilization.
There are numerous packaging techniques, including:
- Whether they come with an instrument tray or not, instruments are stored inside a folded cloth or paper wrap that is secured with tape that will show when sterilization is complete. The pack may contain additional sterilization indicators.
- Self-sealing “envelopes” called “peel packs” are used for steam or gas sterilization.
- There is a sterilization indicator on the envelope.
Maintaining Sterility of Instruments During Surgery
When placing tools during surgery, use an extra piece of sterile drape material, the interior of the surgical wrap, or the envelope. Setting down equipment on a non-sterile surface is one of the most frequent mistakes made by a novice surgeon.
Prior to usage, all surgical tools and other supplies or equipment that will come into touch with the surgical site must be sterile. All life forms, including bacterial spores and viruses, are destroyed during the sterilization procedure. Chemical disinfection differs from sterilization and is not suitable as the main technique for preparing surgical instruments. Sterilization techniques for instruments include steam (autoclave) and gas (ethylene oxide) methods. The first sterilization of surgical tools using dry heat and a glass bead steriliser is unacceptable, although it is allowed for “batch” procedures.
Sterilization by Steam
The most used technique for sterilizing instruments is steam or autoclave sterilization.
- In a surgical pack, instruments are subjected to steam while under pressure.
- To tell if an instrument has been sterilized, use a sterilization indicator (needed), such as autoclave tape or an indication strip.
- Items that cannot withstand the high temperature and steam of an autoclave are sterilized using ethylene oxide gas.
- The exceedingly hazardous gas ethylene oxide. Before use, ethylene oxide-sterilized items must be aerated to let the gas escape.
Using Dry Heat to Sterilize
The next obvious step is dry heat when steam either cannot permeate an instrument or can destroy it. Dry heat is a potent but labor-intensive method that needs prolonged high temperatures. As a result, it is not ideal for many materials, however it is frequently nonetheless more dependable than different alternatives. Air of about 340 degrees Fahrenheit is used in dry heat sterilization to kill microorganisms.
Gas Plasma Sterilizers
This method of sterilization employs a low-temperature hydrogen peroxide-based gas plasma inside a chamber to eradicate any germs, including spores, bacteria, fungi, and viruses, from dental and medical equipment. The chamber’s contents are sterilized when hydrogen peroxide is added as vapor. When the vapor is expelled from the chamber, it creates a plasma with a lower temperature, guaranteeing complete equipment sterilization.
The final steps of this process—oxygen and water—make these sterilizers safe for the environment and medical personnel. Although more expensive, this approach is quite effective and a great choice for tools and medical equipment that are sensitive to moisture.
Sterilizers for Glass Beads:
Glass bead sterilizers can be used to re-sterilize surgical tools, however they cannot be used as the initial sterilization technique. Glass beads are heated to a high temperature in a central well of glass bead sterilizers (approximately 5000F). The tips of surgical instruments are inserted into the hot glass beads for around 10-15 seconds after blood and tissue have been removed.
In this procedure, the instruments’ tips are the only parts that are re-sterilized.
It is necessary to cool down instrument tips before usage because they get very hot.
When one set of originally autoclaved instruments is used on a group of up to 5 animals, glass bead sterilizers may be utilized between the animals.
Benefits of ENT Instruments Sterilization
To stop the transmission of illnesses, germs must be eliminated from medical workers and patients alike. Fighting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which hospital patients get as a result of their hospital stay, is a good illustration of this. HAIs can be brought on by infected surgical instruments, equipment, or staff.
The following are some advantages of sterilizing medical equipment:
- It removes pus, blood, foreign objects, and debris that might have been left behind from previous surgeries and provide a risk to the next patient who needs surgery.
- It reduces bioburden, or the quantity of unsterilized bacteria that are present on a surface.
- It guards against corrosion on pricey, extremely precise instruments with delicate pivots and hinges.
- It eliminates the habitat for any remaining pathogens.
- It guarantees the secure transportation of machinery that must be packaged and put together for sterilization or disinfection.
When done correctly, sterilization and disinfection can guarantee that both invasive and non-invasive medical devices can be used safely.