The table below provides a checklist on the "DOs" & "DONTs" at various stages of the instrument care/maintenance cycle. We have put this together based on the best practices followed by our customers and from our analysis of commonly reported issues. However, for a detailed documentation on instrument care process, please refer to the following link www.a-k-i.org

STEPS

DOs

DONTs

HOLD / PRESOAK

  • Presoak in enzymatic solution to prevent blood to dry onto the instrument.
  • Holding instruments in dry containers for a prolonged duration after or during the surgery.

RINSE

  • Rinse the instruments under warm running water as soon as possible
  • Rinsing dissimilar metals together

CLEANING

  • Soak the instruments in enzymatic cleaner or neutral pH solution to remove organic material as per recommendation.
  • Rinse the instrument in warm running water to remove solution.
  • Use an ultrasonic cleaner for the most effective method of cleaning instruments, especially for instruments with hinges or box locks.
  • Rinse the instrument in warm running water to remove solution and ensure that no debris remain, especially in the hinged areas
  • Dry the instruments for Autoclaving
  • Using "generic" soap solution to soak / clean the instruments

AUTOCLAVING

  • Lubricate hinged instruments using a surgical lubricant.
  • Sterilize instruments as per recommendation from manufacturer of the autoclave.
  • Ensure that the instruments with ratchet lock are sterilized in an OPEN position.
  • Locking instruments with ratchet lock during sterilization. This can cause cracks on the instrument due to heat expansion.
  • Wrapping instruments with towels that have detergent residue. This can cause staining on instruments.

STORAGE

  • Ensure that the instruments are completely dry before storage.
  • Instruments should be stored at room temperature in a dry room.
  • Micro instruments should be stored separately in suitable trays to avoid damage.
  • Storing instruments near chemicals that emit corrosive vapors.
  • Storing instruments of dissimilar metals together.

GENERAL

  • Brand new instruments should also go through the same reprocessing cycle as used instruments.
  • Use demineralized water for all steps.
  • Check quality of water being used, especially for new units.
  • Do not use hard water or water with dissolved chlorides. This can cause lime deposits / scaling or chloride induced pitting on the instrument surface.