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Sterilization Trays for Safe and Effective Sterilization of Instruments

Sterilization Trays for Safe and Effective Sterilization of Instruments

Sterilization is a very important process in surgery. It is a method of killing all possible contaminants like microorganisms in instruments. The contaminants are living organisms, which includes spores that may have been harbored by a particular instrument. All instruments that come in direct contact with the body surface and tissues need to be sterilized before use. Sterilization can be achieved using physical and chemical means and are best done by placing the instruments on sterilization trays.

What are the types of sterilization?

Sterilization can be achieved with steam, gas, heat and chemicals. Autoclaving is one of the most basic and commonly used sterilization techniques. Reusable instruments are cleaned and dried, then lined on sterilization trays. The tray is covered with cloth and then placed in an autoclave for steam to kill all the microorganisms. Gas sterilization uses ethylene oxide to sterilize the equipments. This method is used for instruments that are heat sensitive like those made with plastic materials.

Why sterilize surgical equipment using sterilization trays?

Surgical instruments are used inside body cavities. The surgical site is very much exposed to the environment, with a very high risk for infection. Manipulation of the body tissues using the surgical instruments is a huge source of possible introduction of microorganism. That is why all instruments and materials that come directly in contact with the surgical site should be free from microorganisms. Sterilization also helps in reducing the possibility of cross contamination. This is a risk when equipments used in one patient is reused for another. There are lots of equipments that can be reused, and are too costly and impractical to discard after a single use. Such items include metal equipments like forceps and scissors. These items are cleaned, dried and placed on various types of sterilization trays for sterilization.

Sterilization trays help make the process a lot simpler. Instruments are lined up along the trays to keep them in place during the sterilization process. The instruments should not be touching each other, to allow heat, gas or steam to freely circulate between them. In the market, there are several types of sterilization trays. Micro instruments sterilization trays are best for small and difficult to track instruments like tiny probe tips. There are perforated trays that allow steam to penetrate the instruments and circulate within the trays. Some sterilization trays are made of high quality, medical grade plastic for convenience and economic purposes. There are see-through trays that allow for easy visibility of the instruments. The most common ones are made of stainless steel. These trays are extremely durable and can withstand the harshest conditions. It is best used for autoclave and gas sterilization techniques.

There is also the standard perforated instrument trays best used for autoclave and cold sterilization. Cold sterilization is soaking instruments in chemical sterilisants. This type is best for instruments called “sharps”, whose sharpness can deteriorated when subjected to extreme heat. Instruments to be soaked in chemicals should still be thoroughly cleaned and dried before soaking. Time of soaking the instruments depend on the instrument type, amount of possible contamination and the type of soaking solution.

Examples of sterilization trays
Plastic Sterilizing Tray With Silicone Finger Mat, Medium, 190 x 101 x 19mm

Sterilizing Tray For 1 Phaco Handpiece With Special Silicone Plug-in Inserts 190 x 101 x 38mm
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