non-sterile speculum storage


Can anyone tell me how their clinic/office is storing their non-sterile speculums? Being advised to wrap each one individually and current practice is to sterilize several in a pan together and store in a exam bed drawer on top of incontinence pad, and covered by a pad.


4 Posts

Speculums are semi-critical devices and must be stored in a manner to avoid contamination prior to use. Patients often scrounge through our exam table drawers, cabinets and supply storage in the rooms when unattended (this is especially true if they bring their kids with them). Specs stored in a drawer below the exam table are vulnerable to contamination and this is not appropriate storage. We wrap and sterilize our specs, store them in the sterile packs and open them as needed for exams. Hope this helps. If you need resources, the CDC semi-critical device sterilization, storage and handling information is on the CDC website and Lisa Waldowski, IC Specialist with the Joint Commission has stated that storage under exam tables is not adequate storage of loose (unpackaged) specs. You can check with the Joint Commission Standards Interpretation Group.

In addition, who knows what might fall off of an exam table and land in a drawer that is not securely closed. Patient Safety in infection control is paramount and that includes appropriate storage and handling to avoid contaminaton.

Specializes in Ambulatory Care-Family Medicine. Has 12 years experience.

Ours are plastic single patient use and come individually packaged and are stored in the exam table drawers. Obviously if package is ripped or soiled we toss it and don't use that speculum. Are yours packaged in anyway or are they the metal ones that you clean and auto clave in house? If you sterilize in house, the packs for the sterilization aren't that expensive, then they would all be individually wrapped.


4 Posts

we individually package and store in the sterile pack after autoclaving

klone, MSN, RN

14,490 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Yes, ours are individually wrapped/stored as well.