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Instrument focus

By Securos Surgical

The cons of cold sterilisation
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Cold sterilisation is a method of sterilising that requires instruments to be immersed in an approved liquid chemical for a specified period.  Common cold sterilisation chemicals are glutaraldehyde, peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide-based solutions.  The CDC has indicated that the uses of cold sterilisation are limited, and that heat sterilisation is always preferred.  While some instruments may be heat sensitive, stainless steel surgical instruments are not and should always be sterilised using heat. Below are some reasons to reduce or eliminate the use of cold sterilization.

Depending on the instrument, disinfection may occur in 15-30 minutes, however sterilisation takes several hours to occur.  If new instruments are added to the cold sterile, the timer must be restarted.
Cold sterile chemicals must be used in a well-ventilated area and may pose health risks to staff members and the environment.  Some cold sterile chemicals may be corrosive to the skin; safety glasses and gloves should be worn while working with cold sterile chemicals.
Liquids cannot penetrate bioburden.  Instruments that are not thoroughly cleaned prior to being placed in cold sterile cannot be reliably sterilised.
There are no methods to verify that instruments are truly sterilised with this process.
Prolonged exposure to cold sterile chemicals will cause corrosion to stainless steel instruments.

Today, nearly all surgical instruments that are made to be reusable are heat stable and, for the protection of your staff and patients, should be cleaned, wrapped and heat sterilised between uses.

Did you know?

The Securos Surgical team is happy to help troubleshoot or make recommendations to help improve your current protocol.  For more information, email .



Securos recommends a bi-annual servicing of your instrumentation to keep them in top performance shape. 

View our Instrument care step by step guide here.

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