Cleaning surgical instruments properly can prevent corrosion. Cleaning surgical instruments with a neutral ph enzyme detergent surgical instrument cleaning concentrate can avoid corrosion.
Stainless steel surgery instruments are made of corrosion resistant high-grade specialty steels. Corrosion resistant does not mean corrosion proof. One of the special characteristics of these steels is that the manufacturer forms a passive oxide layer on the surface, which protects them against corrosion. This makes surgery instruments as corrosion resistant as possible. It is imperative that you maintain the passive oxide layer to prevent corrosion and maintain your surgery instruments in optimal condition. If this is not done the stainless steel will be more susceptible to corrosion, pitting and stains. This will reduce the life of the surgery instruments. Initially, all stainless steel surgical instruments have the same corrosion resistance. Contact yourCEBA for information and pricing that will boost reprocessing productivity and your cut costs for surgical instrument cleaning detergents. Manufacturers of surgery instruments and surgical instrument containers recommend using neutral pH surgical instrument cleaners. Contact us for surgical instrument cleaning solutions that have been shown to be effective in optimizing the efficacy of the passive oxide layer. This will provide a longer life for stainless steel surgery instruments. Surgical instrument cleaning solutions with a high or low pH have been shown to erode the passive layer. The most common of these cleaning concentrates utilize an alkaline detergent with an acid neutralizer. Manufacturers of surgical instruments recommend against using neutral ph surgical instrument cleaners. Studies of surgical instrument cleaners, pursuant to the passive oxide layer of surgical instruments, rendered guidelines on metals and alloys in contact with food; Council of Europe; published 11.10.2000. Systemic nickel. The stainless steel passive layer prevents corrosion. Using surgical instrument cleaning solutions and highly concentrated enzymatic surgical instrument ultrasonic and automated washer disinfector detergents, that are not neutral pH, will lower the protection against corrosion. The use of surgical instrument cleaning solutions that deliver an acid rinse will release nickel from the stainless steel and decrease the efficacy of the passive layer. This is most critical on initial reprocessing events of stainless steel surgical instruments. Measurable levels of nickel have been detected. What is the passive layer and surgical instrument cleaners? Stainless steel is essentially a low carbon steel which contains chromium at 10% or more by weight. It is this addition of chromium that gives the steel its unique stainless, corrosion resisting properties. The chromium content of the steel allows the formation of a rough, adherent, invisible, corrosion-resisting chromium oxide film on the steel surface. If damaged mechanically or chemically, by surgical instrument cleaning solutions this film is self-healing, providing that oxygen, even in very small amounts, is present. The corrosion resistance and other useful properties of the steel are enhanced by increased chromium content and the addition of other elements such as molybdenum, nickel and nitrogen. Stainless steel has a passive film created by the presence of chromium and often other alloying elements, nickel, molybdenum that resists this process. When exposed in air, stainless steels passivate naturally due to the presence of chromium. But the time required can vary. In order to ensure that the passive layer reforms rapidly after pickling, a passivation treatment is performed using a solution of nitric acid and water. The passive oxide layer affect by surgical instrument cleaning solutions and endoscope cleaners? The passive layer or stainless steel is intended to prevent or resist corrosion. The process is called passivation. Passivation and polishing eliminate the carbon molecules form the instrument surface. This forms a layer which acts as a corrosive resistant seal. Proper use of surgical instrument cleaning solutions will build up the layer of chromium oxide and protect the surgical instrument from corrosion and pitting. In some circumstances older instruments have higher resistance to corrosion than new ones. The newer instruments have not had the time to build up the chromium oxide layer. Improper cleaning and sterilization can cause the layer of chromium oxide to become damaged thus increasing the possibility of corrosion and/or pitting. Proper cleaning and sterilization can cause the layer of chromium oxide to improve over time thus decreasing the possibility of corrosion and pitting.