Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Bring It On- December 2020 - S...

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T • 7 1 I 'm a big proponent of rigid steriliza- tion containers for numerous reasons. They're reusable and therefore eco- friendly, they protect your instruments from damage much better than blue wrap does and many models are stackable for easy storage. But not all containers are created equal. Here are the various factors to consider when evaluating these innova- tive but complex products. • Check the specs. Flashy promotional brochures often don't paint the entire pic- ture of a container's usefulness. Get tech- nical data from vendors and hold them accountable to the instructions for use (IFU). The onus is on you to read through the technical data of each container care- fully, and make sure you understand whether you can actually use it for the instruments you need to reprocess. Also, consult standards such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Steam Sterilization and Sterility Assurance in Healthcare Facilities (ST-79) 2017 and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Guideline on Packaging Systems. The predominant cycle in use today is prevacu- um steam sterilization, which involves four minutes of exposure at 270ºF, but some instruments need to be sterilized at 270ºF gravity or 250ºF gravity cycles. Learn about each container's validated cycles and ensure they were properly tested and approved by the FDA for the cycles your facility needs to run. You don't want to purchase containers and then find your facility uses instruments that require ster- ilization at temperatures the containers can't han- dle. It's also important to verify if the container has been validated to hold silicone mats, surgical tow- els, lumens or power equipment. Some rigid containers are made of all plastic and others are metal-plastic hybrids, which tend to have more problems with drying compared with more commonly used all-metal containers. Also check the IFU of instruments that undergo immediate use sterilization. Make sure both the instruments and the rigid containers they're placed in are validated for immediate use cycles. Get this infor- mation in writing from the container manufacturer. • Inserts and accessories. The container you buy needs to match up with the instrumentation and devices you use regularly. For example, expen- sive, delicate video cameras need to be placed in specialty containers with sprockets that keep the camera and its cable secured, so they aren't dam- aged while the container is moved. Many vendors offer specialty-specific trays and inserts that help you line up and organize the instruments, cords and Rigid Sterilization Containers Invest in these durable and versatile cases to improve instrument care. Thinking of Buying… Nancy Chobin, RN, AAS, ACSP, CSPM, CFER | Lebanon, N.J. SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED Properly loading instruments into sealed sterilization containers eases the burden on sterile processing personnel.

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