Instruments Care

Most Common Instrument Problems.

Spotting (Light colored Spots)

Cause: Water droplets condensing on the instrument and evaporating very slowly. Usually traced to high mineral content in the water supply.
Solution: Follow the autoclave manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Do not open the door until all the steam Has been exhausted. Check for leaky gaskets or valves which may cause condensation during the drying cycle.


Cause: Insufficiently rinsed or linens containing residue of caustic detergent chemicals.
Solution: Check with the laundry to be sure linens are rinsed thoroughly.
Cause: Baked-on blood in the box locks, serrations and ratchets.
Solution: Open all box locks completely prior to cleaning

Rust Colored Film

Cause: Water softeners can cause rust colored, dust like film to occur under certain conditions. Also, if the water supply has a high iron content, mineral deposits on the instruments may result.
Solution: Consult with the hospital engineering staff for an evaluation of your water treatment program.


Cause: Exposure to saline solutions, blood potassium chloride and a number of other compounds.
Solution: Rinse with distilled water as soon as possible after exposure.
Cause: Some detergent contain chloride or an acid base that, if not thoroughly rinsed from the instruments, unites with steam in the autoclave to form hydrochloric acid.
Solution: Avoid detergents with chloride bases and select a detergent with a ph range no higher than 8.5.

Staining (Purplish-Black Stain )

Cause: Amine chemicals, which are used in steam lines to clean lime deposits, can be deposited on stainless steel by electrolytic action.
Solution: Use distilled or de-mineralized water instead of the local water source to cycle through the autoclave.

Eye & E.N.T

Microsurgical instruments are most vulnerable to damage through misuse, abuse & rough handling. Since their exacting performance is extremely crucial to microsurgery, extra attention should be given to the care of microsurgical instruments.

How to care for MicroSurgical Instruments

  1. All microsurgical instruments should be carefully inspected when first purchased and after each use. Ideally a magnifying glass should be used to help in detecting flaws not visible to the naked eye. Look for burs on tips, nicks on cutting edges and proper alignment of jaws.
  2. Extra care should be taken during surgery wipe off all blood and debris after each use. Non-fibrous sponge should be used for this purpose to prevent snagging and breaking delicate tips.
  3. All microsurgical instruments should be clean by hand and thoroughly dried before packing or storing. Avoid using a washer-sterilize ultrasonic cleaner.
  4. Metal to metal contact should always be avoided. Special racks and cases are available for many delicate instruments and should be use to protect and separate tips.