Sterilization of wood in the OR?
- 0Jan 14 by MereSanityOK...I work at a very nice, very small OR. Well we found some old wooden "spools"with wire wrapped around it which they used for hips. Anyway, I just don't think we should still be "sterilizing" these old wood spools (do I really need to explain this) but have been hit with the argument...that is the way we have always done it and it's going thru the sterilizing process. I looked in the AORN standards book but have not yet found anything about this subject. Anyone have any input here or specific AORN data? Thanks!
- 0Jan 15 by MereSanityI will try to get a pic...they look like very old spools that you would use for sewing...unsealed wood about 3inches or so. They wrap wire around them that you would use to place around a break made by Dr. the thing is most don't even use wire like that anymore...most is packaged. I will try to get a pic later. I know this was what they used way back when...but we don't do some things anymore because there are better ways...for instance we don't soak our instruments in formaldehyde and alcohol...there is a reason we don't "always do things the same way"...we live, we learn, we improve.
- 0Jan 15 by travelrn64wood is a porous material and will absorb body fluids. It is almost impossible to totally clean and sterilize. That is why most hospitals have moved away from using spools such as these and wooden handled instruments. Total hips as i am sure you know can be one of the bloodiest cases we do. Many orthopedic tools used to have wood handles, I would bet you cant find any new on the market today. I bet if you asked one of your ortho reps about this they could point you to studies done on this.
- 0Jan 16 by pyocianikHello all!
Wood isn't always porous, it depends of the tree species it is gained from. Besides, before it is used under any form, it undergoes different kinds of treament in order to provide it with or enhance its natural possibilities of use. If its density allows it to absorb body fluids, it will absorb cleaning and decontaminent agents too. And the autoclave vapor as well...
This doesn't mean that it should be or remain a standard practice to use instruments containing wood. Furthermore, if you don't have anything else it will do. They did the job in the past and as far as I can remember there weren't more infections than nowadays.
Nevertheless, the argument you've been hammered with is the excuse of the stupid or narrow minded !
Practices have to be evaluated on a regular basis. If a process that has been used for ever proves to be faulty it has to be changed. That's common sense and standard practice in every industry. This doesn't mean that everything that's new is gold either. mankind, especially nowadays tends to be overenthousiastic about new things or practices: just take a look at your next best known geek ! It is not always easy to remain cool headed and say let's wait a bit and see what the results are over time.
But as one of our French philosophers (it's pascal if I remember wel from highschool) said: "Common sense is the most widespread yet the most poorly shared matter".
Don't worry about that. Offer the surgeon first the wrapped ones, keep the coils nearby and them over only if he/she really wants them; that way you'll be on the safe side!
I hope that my little post will help you.
- 0Jan 16 by MereSanityThank you for your input. Unfortunately without any solid evidence from AORN, CDC, etc. I have nothing to prove my point. If anyone knows where I can find this (I haven't found it yet in AORN nor through any web searches on the CDC) I would appreciate input! Thanks for your help so far!