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CPT Medical


How to get the most life out of a custom tray


A custom tray is one of the most crucial and popular equipment in any healthcare set up. As much as custom surgical trays are essential, there is need to take proper care of them to increase their longevity. Decontaminating surgical instruments before storing them is one of the most effective ways of enhancing the lifespan of your surgical tools. Proper storage of surgical instruments can be achieved after cleaning and sterilization.

Preparation before storage


The following three levels are involved in the preparation for storing custom trays:

  • Cleaning

The first step before storing your tray should involve cleaning. Cleaning removes dirt and other biological material present on the surface of the tray. You should make sure that you clean all the body fluids, blood, and other tissues from the tray. Also, ensure that you get rid of dirt like dry soil since it can damage your tray and make it hard to use. After washing, rinse the tray with cold, clean water. Do not use hot water since it can lead to the coagulation of protein substances. You can mix cold water with an enzymatic detergent and soak the tray. The detergent helps dissolve the proteins on the surface of the equipment while breaking the oils. Afterwards, you can clean the tray in cold water manually. If there is an alternative to manual cleaning such as mechanical cleaning, you can also explore it. Mechanical washing usually involves the use of a washing machine to clean medical apparatus including a custom tray. The machine cleans through multiple levels to achieve its purpose. First cold water is used to remove the debris. A hot water bath then follows before a blow dry is done using hot air.

It is crucial to clean trays thoroughly. Otherwise, biological material can remain on the surface and hinder the subsequent steps of sterilization and disinfection. You can protect yourself using a mask, gloves, plastic apron and eye protection during cleaning.

  • Disinfecting

Thermal disinfection is highly recommended for high-level disinfection of surgical tools. You can boil a surgical instrument in a 100 degrees water for around one minute. Most bacteria die during the boiling except for a few bacterial spores; it is crucial to remember that boiling does not sterilize equipment. You can start by submerging the tray into the boiling water. When the temperature of the water starts exceeding one hundred degrees, reduce the heat so that it can boil gently. You can remove the equipment from the boiling water after a minute using a pair of disinfected tongs. Again, it is important to remember not to remove the custom tray in the water as it cools since it can lead to contamination.

  • Sterilizing

Sterilization gets rid of all microorganisms. Autoclaving is a common method of sterilizing surgical instruments including custom trays. You can also use dry heat or chemical sterilant.

Disinfecting custom trays can be done in multiple levels including; low-level disinfection, intermediate level disinfection and high-level disinfection.

  • Low-level disinfection – gets rid of all fungi, vegetative bacteria, lipid virus and some non-lipid viruses from the tray surface in ten minutes or less.
  • Intermediate – this level of disinfection kills tubercle bacilli, mycobacteria, fungus spores, and lipid enveloped viruses as well as some non-lipid enveloped viruses.
  • High-level disinfection – destroys all the organisms killed by low and high-level disinfection levels as well as fungus spores

By destroying all microorganisms through cleaning and sterilization before storage, you will definitely get the most life out of your custom procedure trays.