Distilled water vs. saline soak; tears in wrapped sets; keeping instruments open for cleaning

Distilled water vs. saline soak; tears in wrapped sets; keeping instruments open for cleaning

December 2013 – CS Solutions.

More insightful answers to infection control questions from Ray T.

Surgical instruments should not be soaked in saline. Saline contains chloride ions which can be very damaging to surgical instruments. These chloride ions are highly caustic and can cause pitting and deterioration to instruments. (See figures 1 and 2.) For support you most likely will not have to look any further than your instrument manufacturers IFU on the care and handling of their surgical instruments. Most clearly state that prolonged soaking especially in saline solutions should be avoided. Professional organizations such as, AAMI, AORN, and IAHCSMM also advise against soaking surgical instruments in saline in their recommended practice documents and educational technical training manuals.

Figure 1
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 2

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