Custom trays are utilized in a variety of different medical settings such as medical offices, hospitals, nursing homes and in-home care. These trays can really streamline efficiency as well as protect patients from infection. Unfortunately, there are a number of custom trays that are susceptible to contamination and this can be dangerous for both doctors and patients. In a recent study that was published in The American Journal of Infection Control, as much as eighty-seven percent of sterilized, surgical trays that were tested had the potential to allow bacteria to grow inside of the packs when exposed to certain conditions. Infection is always a risk involved with getting a medical procedure or surgery done, but people don’t realize that approximately 300,000 infections occur each year in the United States at the site of a surgical wound. This results in about 9,000 deaths each year. Making sure that a medical facility of any kind stays sterile and clean is imperative to providing exceptional care and preventing infection-related deaths. Luckily, there are some ways that these facilities and medical professionals can prevent contamination of customized trays. Let’s take a look at some of these methods:
The first line of defense against infection is to properly package custom trays when they are made. The tools should be properly handled upon packing as should the packaging material that is used for the tray. If tools are being handled prior to a procedure in a hospital or medical facility, they should be properly handled using sterile gloves and should be protected until the procedure has begun. Both rigid containers and sterilized wraps are used for these custom trays and tools and when used properly, they will remain clean and sterile. From the point of surgical tools being produced to being packed up, transferred to a medical facility and then opened, stored and utilized, the packaging, the product and the professionals present need to all come into play to keep things safe and sterile.
There are different materials that can be used to house these sterilized instruments such as polymers, aluminum, polypropylene and various other metals. Studies have shown that more rigid containers are more susceptible to letting bacteria inside of them. The tests are usually completed using a dynamic aerosol methods to see how airtight the containers actually function at. The barrier between the edge of the container and the outside air just does not hold up well. While it might not seem like a big deal, just the smallest amount of air being allowed into the container can promote exponential bacteria growth that when exposed to a patient on the surgical table, can be deadly. It is best to opt for a soft packaging that is properly sealed during production. In many studies, some sterilized wrap packaging was up to one hundred percent effective in reducing bacteria contamination.
If you are shopping for custom trays for your medical facility, make sure that you do your research and that you find a company that you will be able to trust when it comes to purchasing your surgical tools from them. Affordability and budget is often a factor when medical staff is busy shopping for these types of items, but when it comes to patient safety, you cannot put a price on that. Proper training amongst medical staff will also ensure that certain protocol is utilized when it comes time to set up a surgical operating room or a procedure is done on a patient. Frequent monitoring of these systems are imperative as well in order to promote sterilization.