Adhering to high hygienic standards is an indispensable part for any medical procedure. The success of our medical system is solely dependent on the proper sterilization treatment of your laboratory equipment and instrumental carts.
Any tool or device that comes in contact with any form of bacteria or infection should be thoroughly disinfected with hospital grade solution to reduce the spread of harmful microbial life.
Types of Disinfection
There are three different levels of disinfection: high level, intermediate and low level. The type of sterilization depends on the area of the body which laboratory equipment and instrumental carts have come in contact with.
High-level cleaning is utilized to destroy any microbes from contact with mucous membranes and will require pasteurization or the administering of glutaraldehyde.
Be sure to use EPA approved tuberculocidal cleaner for intermediate level disinfection. Low-level sterilization is used for any surface that touches intact skin, such as beds, carts, stethoscopes or any non-invasive equipment.
Sterilization techniques can include, but are not limited to, steam pressure cleaning, dry heat, ETO gas or any liquid cleaning chemicals usually used to clean invasive tools. Disinfectant wipes are very effective to for cleaning any medical cart that may not need as intensive cleaning unless it comes in contact with highly contagious pathogens.
Most laboratory equipment and instrumental carts are considered non-critical items that will have the least amount of contamination. It is important to note that if any surgical tools are placed on your instrumental carts, you will need to treat it as a critical item.
A thorough cleaning should be done before the sterilization process because it could make that crucial step less effective. When manually cleaning keep in mind two important elements: applying friction and using pressurized fluids.
Any cleaning solution you work with should have a neutral or near neutral pH and can be amplified by adding enzymes to remove traces of organic material. After cleaning, this solution should be thoroughly rinsed off as it could cause an allergic or adverse reaction for the proceeding patient.
Labeling & Communication
The labeling and communication with your team around soiled and cleaned laboratory equipment and instrumental carts are equally as important. Make sure every person is aware of where the clean instruments will be placed after being sterilized to avoid any confusion and unnecessary contamination. You can devise your own system or use clearly demarcated stickers or signs.
Use specific medical grade detergents and enzymatic products to sterilize any organic material that may be clinging to any surface of your laboratory equipment and instrument carts. This is essential for containing the spread of infection in your medical establishment and ensuring that any bacteria is eliminated as soon as possible.