You understand the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilising, but do you dry the surgical instruments you use correctly?
Why is drying important?
Think about a time when you left wet towels in the washing machine for a couple of days. They became smelly. This was due to the moisture allowing mildew to grow. The same can happen with medical equipment
Any residual water creates opportunities for microorganisms to grow. To avoid contamination, you don’t want to leave your surgical equipment wet or damp.
Biofilm is a slimy build-up of microorganisms that form on a moist surface. They can form on plant and human tissue, but they can also develop on medical equipment such as catheters and anaesthetic hoses, causing a greater risk of hospital-acquired infections.
Biofilm can be doubly worrying as the bacteria within it is more resistant to antibiotics and disinfectants, meaning they are harder to control than free-floating bacteria. This is why you do not want any reusable medical instruments to remain moist after being cleaned and sterilised.
Improper drying can also cause water damage. This can lead to discolouration, corrosion, rust and pitting, making equipment unusable.
How can I dry surgical instruments properly?
There are a variety of ways you can dry medical and surgical instruments.
- Air drying involves leaving the instruments in an area with limited access and allowing the moisture to evaporate
- Towel drying uses a non-linting towel to absorb moisture from the surfaces of the equipment
- Mechanical drying is the process of removing moisture with heat or forced air
When deciding which method to use, you should follow the manufacturer’s drying instructions unique to a particular item.
You also need to consider the equipment you are cleaning and drying. For example, an anaesthetic tube is corrugated, which gives it its flexibility but this also means there are many crevices and tight areas making it more difficult to clean and dry.
How can I ensure equipment is dried properly?
The use of automated drying cabinets has become increasingly popular. These machines have a forced-air source and circulation controlled conditions making them more efficient and effective when compared to manual drying methods.
The benefits of using a drying cabinet
- It is 2 to 3 times faster than using a washer-disinfector with an integrated dryer saving you time and energy
- They enable simultaneous washing and drying because you are using separate machines. This makes the flow of goods quicker, making the process more efficient
- The integrated HEPA filter means at least 99.95% of particles are removed from the air, ensuring the spread of infection is minimal
- They are made from stainless steel, which is durable and rustproof. They will work hard for you and last for years meaning they are an excellent cost-effective investment.
Top of the Range Drying Cabinets
Our range of drying cabinets are perfect for drying surgical instruments. They have been designed to be flexible, and they can hold large numbers of medical and surgical items. The DC2200 has a dedicated retractable AN-hose cassette and holder shelves that can hold up to 64 long anaesthetic hoses.
You can choose from a single door or pass-through door, which means only one door can be opened at a time, making them safe. Plus, depending on where you want them installed, the hinges can come on either side.
They are heat and sound insulated, making them easy to work with, and the doors are shockproof and thermally insulated double glazed. Having this window means you can see which equipment is in the cabinet without opening the door, reducing the risk of recontamination.
The drying cabinets come with pre-programmed drying cycles, but you can also use your own. The cooling time ranges from 1 to 30 minutes meaning the equipment will be safe and ready to use again quickly.
Support and Maintenance
With over 30 years of experience, we understand how important it is that your drying cabinets remain working hard for you and your team. We offer unlimited site checks and CAD drawings during the installation process and will meet with your contractors or in-house installation team.
All our engineers are fully trained and will carry out maintenance, repairs and testing to ensure your drying cabinet is working at its best.
For more information about how our drying cabinets can increase efficiency and safety for you, please contact us.
Tel: +44 (0)161 483 7333