Pursuant to surgical Instrument washer disinfectors and cleaning surgical instruments prior to sterilization, the APIC Study "Evaluation of Tunnel Washers" with a surgical instrument enzyme detergent lubricant cleaner, confirmed that the efficacy of disinfection was 100%". "All surgical instruments and utensils tested were sterile at the completion of the washing process."

Properly designed surgical instrument washer decontaminator disinfectors are designed to clean all surfaces thoroughly, thereby providing the prerequisite for: safe handling, disinfecting, and sterilizing.

John Temple, John Prohonic, Product Development

Surgical instrument washer decontaminator disinfectors, perform pre-wash, ultrasonic cleaning, detergent washing, purified water elevated temperature rinsing with lubrication, and high temperature hot air drying, in such a manner as to provide thoroughly clean, stain free and lubricated medical devices. Surgical Instruments cannot be sterilized unless all exposed surfaces are properly cleaned prior to sterilization, to remove soil, debris, bioburden, and properly rinsed to prevent staining. Not all surgical instrument washer decontaminator disinfectors provide adequate pre-rinsing, pre-cleaning, purified water rinsing, and thereby render higher rejection rates of surgical instruments, scope, and utensils.

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The proper sequence of washing treatments and the correct choice of time, temperature and the components used, are necessary to render surgical instruments that are safe to handle and have the prerequisite for sterilization. Washer Disinfectors employ a cold water pre-wash to remove gross debris.  This removes proteins and lipids, preventing them from being baked onto devices during the high temperature treatments to follow. Then, the ultrasonic process creates millions of micro implosions to loosen and free debris from lock boxes, hinge pins, serrations and other difficult-to-access surface areas.

surgical Instrument Washer Disinfectors detergent wash then apply high flow low pressure water with a cleaning concentrate (at ~ 135 degrees F) in such a manner as to evenly reach all areas of the load and strip bioburden from the surgical instruments. The elevated temperature (at ~ 194 to 209 degrees F) purified water final rinse secures the biocidal process, removes mineral deposits and lubricates the instruments. The high temperature (at ~ 158 to 230 degrees F) hot air dry cycle presents heated, forced air which dries each device.  The medical devices are now clean, safe to handle, have the prerequisite for sterilization, and are properly prepared for further reprocessing.

Surgical Instrument washers and the Complete Removal of Pathogens

The Washington University School of Medicine at Washington University Medical Center examined the performance of a properly designed Surgical Instrument Washer Disinfector (CESCO washer Decontaminator Model 520) and found that it removed all organisms from the surgical instruments tested. The Surgical Instrument Washer Disinfector was tested for its ability to the complete removal for pathological organism from surgical instruments. Pure cultures of the following organisms were grown on appropriate agar plates:

1. Staphylococcus aureus;
2. Pseudomonas aerations;
3. Escherichia coli;
4. Bacillus species

Kelly clamps, tweezers and scissors wee placed on these plates of organism, taking care to ensure that all serrated edges were packed with all the organisms.   Each contaminated instrument was then dipped into the tube of Thiogycolate medium before being placed in all the washer baskets. The instruments were then processed through the complete Washer Disinfector cycle. At the end of the drying cycle, the instruments were allowed to cool and then dipped into another tube of Thioglycolate medium. All tubes of the Thioglycoate medium tested before the wash grew the appropriate organism within six to 18 ours after testing.  All tubes tested at the end of the wash showed no growth after 14 days of incubation. This Surgical Instrument Washer Disinfector removed all organisms from the instruments.

Surgical Instrument Washer Disinfector
Efficacy of Disinfection 100%

Another evaluation of Surgical Instrument Washer Decontaminators Disinfectors confirmed that the efficacy of disinfection was 100%. In this study, L.P. Jette and N.G. Lambert used two test methods. One method was to test the effect of heat only within the disinfection process and the other test method was to test the efficacy of both heat and washing. Each method gave reproducible results and confirmed the efficacy of the Surgical Instrument  Decontaminator Washer Disinfectors. Surgical Instrument Washer Disinfectors demonstrated the ability to completely remove pathological organisms with effective repeat-ability. There operation is automatic, reliable, labor saving and easy to use. Central Processing departments rarely find the need to manually treat devices and report an  exceptionally low rate of rejected devices. The surgical instrument washer disinfector washing cycles (cold water pre-wash, ultrasonic cleaning, detergent washing action, final rinses, and drying treatments) provide the prerequisite for: safe handling, disinfecting, and sterilizing. The Proper Sequence of Surgical Instrument Washer Treatments delivered by a properly designed Surgical Instrument Washer Disinfector design will secure consist and repeatable performance. The proper sequence of surgical instrument washer disinfector treatments and the correct choice of time, temperature and the components used, are necessary to render surgical instruments that are safe to handle, and have the prerequisite for surgical instrument sterilization.
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