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Tag Archives: Heat


Moist Heat Methods

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Heat therapy is beneficial for a number of different therapies. It can be used at home to treat minor discomfort or it can be used post-operatively as a way to increase blood flow to a certain area to aid in healing. The most effective moist heat methods are those that can maintain an appropriate temperature on their own without burning the patient while still providing enough heat for effectiveness. Ultimately you want the temperature to be warm enough to be absorbed deep down into the muscular level and moisture can help with this process.

The Difference

Moist heat and dry heat are both used for heat therapy. Dry heat is usually administered by way of an electric heating pad, sauna, etc. This therapy is designed to draw moisture out of the body and some people find it more comfortable and helpful. Moist heat on the other hand, is applies through a moist heating pack, hot bath or hot water bottle. Moist heat tends to provide more relief on a deeper level and is a bit easier to provide consistent temperatures.

Moist Heat Methods

Moist heat can be included in custom trays and can be applied a number of ways. These methods include:

  • Hot water bottle (Filled with a certain temperature of water and then applied to the body).
  • Heated gel packs (microwaved or heated in water; will remain warm for up to thirty minutes at a time).
  • Moist heat wraps (Can be used right up against the skin and can be concealed by clothing. Several hours of relief can be found with this method).

A medical professional can always advise the best ways to utilize moist heat methods no matter what the need may be. The duration that the heat should be applied as well as the frequency varies with each injury and is based off the magnitude of the issue. Usually, fifteen to twenty minutes is the amount of time that moist heat methods are applied; every two to three hours. Custom trays in medical facilities can include moist heat packs for post operative use to keep patients comfortable and promote healing faster. There are instances when cold therapy is recommended as well. Sometimes medical professionals like to alternate these treatments. For outpatient therapy, many patients have a preference when it comes to heat therapy and sometimes it takes trial and error to find out what will work the best for long term relief.

 

When is Chemical Sterilization Most Appropriate?

surgical tools

In all laboratories and hospitals, sterilization is a must. This is because viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other disease-casing agents cannot be totally killed by disinfection. What disinfection can only do is to remove them the way we remove dirt and germs in our kitchen. It only removes such agents, but it does not kill and eliminate them.

Sterilization is the primary and recommended method of cleaning all equipment, tools, and devices that are repeatedly used such as surgical instruments, biopsy forceps, and a custom tray. These objects are prone to any type of contagious disease, which can be transmitted by these tools and objects if not sterilized.

Types of Sterilization

There are two types of sterilization processes. These are:

  • Heat Sterilization
  • Chemical Sterilization

Heat Sterilization

Heat sterilization is the most recommended method of sterilization used for many decades already. This is because pathogens and other harmful bacteria are killed at a certain heat temperature. Some tools that are small can be soaked with boiling water. This will ensure that even the hardest to reach areas are sterilized.

In the case of larger and more complex devices and equipment in which sterilization with boiling water does not apply; steam sterilization is used. Steam sterilization distributes the heat all over the surfaces. This method can instantly kill and eliminate stubborn bacteria, fungi, and pathogens. It is also a proven method to clean all hospital and laboratory equipment and devices regardless of size and shape.

There are instances that steam sterilization is not applicable. Some devices and equipment are vulnerable to moisture and steam. Devices and equipment with a complex electronic system is a good example. The modern alternative to sterilizing them is through infrared sterilization. This type of heat sterilization kills all disease-causing agents in an instant.

Chemical Sterilization

Nowadays, there are a lot of modern hospital and laboratory instruments and tools such as a custom tray that are susceptible to heat. This means they have some components that should not be exposed to high temperature. These components are rubber, plastic, glass, and other similar elements.

To sterilize them without using heat, the recommended alternative is through chemical sterilization. Chemical sterilization is the process of using low temperature chemicals to kill, eliminate, and remove all germs, viruses, and bacteria. This can be in the form of gas or liquid chemicals.

Chemical sterilization uses the following elements and compounds:

  • Silver
  • Peracetic Acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Phthalaldehyde
  • Glutaraldehyde and Formaldehyde
  • Bleach
  • Ozone

The above chemicals are used in many different ways and processes. Some can be mixed with other chemicals. Others are directly applied. There are also cases that some of them can be used along with steam sterilization.

Hospital and laboratory instruments don’t have to get heated only to sterilize them. Chemical sterilization can do the job without heating them. However, not all instruments and equipment can be sterilized in this method. This is because there are some equipment or devices that contain some elements that may react violently with the above chemicals. Before using a chemical sterilization process with these types of devices, it is recommended you check the manufacturer’s instructions from both manufacturers of chemicals and devices to be sterilized.

Chemical sterilization is now becoming the most recommended method of the sterilization. Many hospitals and laboratories are beginning to reduce the use of disposable instruments. Hospitals and laboratories are also now using a custom tray instead of disposable ones. And there are such instruments that should not be heated because they may have been made of plastic or glass. This is where chemical sterilization is appropriate.

Proper Storage for Custom Surgical Trays

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Image is from Healthcare Purchasing News

A custom surgical tray is one of the most crucial equipment in a hospital setup. Essential as it is, this equipment should be taken care to enhance their longevity. Taking care of surgical instruments before keeping them is the surest method of protecting your tools. The ones that take care of properly last longer. Proper storage of instruments comes after you have properly cleaned them.

Preparation before storage

Preparation for storing the tray involves three levels;

  • Cleaning

This is the initial step of storing your tray. Ensure you clean all the body fluids, blood, and other tissues. Dirt like dry soil may even damage your tray or make it tough to use. After washing, rinse the tray in cold, clean water. Avoid using hot water as it can cause protein substances to coagulate. You can soak the tray in cold water mixed with an enzymatic detergent. The detergent will help in dissolving the proteins on the instrument surface as well as breaking the oils. After that, you can now clean the tray in cold water manually. If there as an alternative for manual cleaning like mechanical cleaning, you can opt for it. Normally, mechanical washing involves the use of a washing machine to wash the tray. The machine cleans through multiple levels. Cold water is for removing the debris. Then a hot water bath followed by a blow dry with hot air. Use gloves as you do the cleaning, plastic apron, eye protection and a mask.

  • Disinfecting

For high-level disinfection, both thermal are available. Boil the instrument in a 100 degrees water for some time, preferably one minute. Only some few bacterial spores don’t die during the boiling; it is imperative to remember that boiling will not sterilize equipment. Just submerge the tray into the boiling water. When you notice the temperature of the water exceeding one hundred degrees, turn down the heat so it can boil gently. After a minute, remove the instrument from the boiling water using a pair of disinfected tongs. It is important to remember here not to remove the tray in the water as it cools since it can be decontaminated.

  • Sterilizing

Sterilization does away with all microorganisms. Autoclaving is a common method of sterilizing this equipment. However, you can use dry heat or chemical sterilants.

Cleaning is meant to remove dirt and other biological material that may have been present on the tray’s surface. It is easy to clean these instruments manually or using mechanically using water, detergent, and other enzymatic materials. Cleaning it thoroughly since biological materials can remain on the surface to and be a hindrance to subsequent steps of sterilization and disinfection.

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

  • Low-level disinfection removes all vegetative bacteria, fungi, lipid virus and some non-lipid viruses from the tray surface in ten minutes or less.
  • Intermediate-level disinfection kills tubercle bacilli, and lipid enveloped viruses, fungus spores, and some no lipid enveloped viruses and mycobacteria.
  • High-level disinfection destroys all the organisms killed by the low and high-level disinfection levels aside from killing fungus spores

Sterilization kills all microorganisms certain chemical sterilants can be used as HLD disinfectants when used for shorter exposed durations. You can use autoclaving to do the disinfection.

After all the cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization, keep your tray in a place where they are not exposed to any more dirt and contaminants. If you don’t maintain the tray a safe place, you are going to pose a great danger in infecting the patient.

Difference Between Moist Heat and Dry Heat for Custom Trays

surgicalpack

Image is from Medline.com

A custom tray is a medical equipment that requires you to sterilize so as to kill the bacteria and other disease-causing organisms present on the surface. If left unsterilized, the patient could be exposed to several harmful microorganisms which may end up causing more harm. As such, a custom tray has to be free from germs always and more especially during the procedure. Sterilization of a custom tray can be achieved in two ways:

• Dry heat

Despite being a method that has been used for many years, dry heat method has often been misunderstood. Unlike in moist heat sterilization method where high temperature is used in performing sterilization, here heated air is used to achieve the same. Additionally, the temperatures in this method are relatively higher than in the moist heat method. The disease-causing microorganisms are killed through the destructive oxidation process. This process helps to terminate large biomolecules such as proteins. The organism will eventually die due to the destruction of some of the most vital components of the cell. It is, however, most suitable for the equipment which is resistant to heat

• Moist heat sterilization

For moist heat sterilization, water at high-pressure level is used for sterilizing instruments like a custom tray, and the process is carried out in autoclaves. Although the temperature of steam in this method of sterilization is relatively lower than its dry heat counterpart, the pressure helps to effect sterilization properly. The moist heat destroys the structural proteins of the disease-causing organism on the surface of a custom tray. Eventually, this results in the death of the organisms on the surface of the custom tray. This method is effective in that it takes a shorter time to complete the whole sterilization process and in low temperatures too.

• Dry heat and steam heat efficacy

While you can achieve the same results in many loads, including a custom tray, with both methods, certain tasks are impossible while using a steam autoclave like loads that are hydrophobic or ones that will be damaged when exposed to moisture. As well, dry heat is useful for instruments such as a custom tray, which may experience corrosion.

Even as you can use dry heat method on a myriad of equipment, including a custom tray, it is, by no means, all purpose. Liquids, for instance, unlike a custom tray, cannot be sterilized using the method and neither can be growth media. Unlike a custom clay, dense loads are a problem too since the convection process does not penetrate them.

• Dry heat sterilizer versus steam autoclave efficiency

Although many loads like a custom tray can be sterilized by using either moist or dry heat, steam sterilizers consume less time and energy compared to dry heat. For a resistant spore to be killed by dry heat, the load in a dry heat sterilizer must be brought to 170 degrees centigrade and maintained there for as long as one hour. On the other hand, a steam autoclave only needs to be raised to 121 degrees centigrade for as short as fifteen minutes. This is because the steam is an excellent conductor of heat and is, therefore, able to permeate loads. As a result, there is significant cost saving when you use a steam heat sterilizer compared to dry heat sterilizer.

The above are some of the basic differences between dry and moist heat sterilization methods. Using either of them, ensure your equipment are properly sterilized. A custom tray is particularly one instrument you don’t want to forget to sterilize.

Moist Heat Methods

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Heat therapy is beneficial for a number of different therapies. It can be used at home to treat minor discomfort or it can be used post-operatively as a way to increase blood flow to a certain area to aid in healing. The most effective moist heat methods are those that can maintain an appropriate temperature on their own without burning the patient while still providing enough heat for effectiveness. Ultimately you want the temperature to be warm enough to be absorbed deep down into the muscular level and moisture can help with this process.

The Difference

Moist heat and dry heat are both used for heat therapy. Dry heat is usually administered by way of an electric heating pad, sauna, etc. This therapy is designed to draw moisture out of the body and some people find it more comfortable and helpful. Moist heat on the other hand, is applies through a moist heating pack, hot bath or hot water bottle. Moist heat tends to provide more relief on a deeper level and is a bit easier to provide consistent temperatures.

Moist Heat Methods

Moist heat can be included in custom trays and can be applied a number of ways. These methods include:

  • Hot water bottle (Filled with a certain temperature of water and then applied to the body).
  • Heated gel packs (microwaved or heated in water; will remain warm for up to thirty minutes at a time).
  • Moist heat wraps (Can be used right up against the skin and can be concealed by clothing. Several hours of relief can be found with this method).

A medical professional can always advise the best ways to utilize moist heat methods no matter what the need may be. The duration that the heat should be applied as well as the frequency varies with each injury and is based off the magnitude of the issue. Usually, fifteen to twenty minutes is the amount of time that moist heat methods are applied; every two to three hours. Custom trays in medical facilities can include moist heat packs for post operative use to keep patients comfortable and promote healing faster. There are instances when cold therapy is recommended as well. Sometimes medical professionals like to alternate these treatments. For outpatient therapy, many patients have a preference when it comes to heat therapy and sometimes it takes trial and error to find out what will work the best for long term relief.