Why Is It Important to Properly Store Custom Trays?
Experts in medical practice have continuously lauded the invention of custom procedure trays due to the convenience and efficiency they bring to health facilities. It’s important to properly store custom trays to enhance their efficacy and longevity. Prior steps before storage of custom trays are also crucial and help shield the tools from breakages or contamination. Prior preparation before storage involves the following steps;
This should be the very first step you should take before storage. While here, you should ensure that you get rid of all the blood, dirt-like dry soil, body fluid, and other tissues present on the tray. You can rinse the tray in cold, clean water after washing the tray. Hot water is not recommended since this might lead to coagulation of protein substances. Instead, you can soak the tray in cold water mixed with enzymatic detergents. The detergents will help break the oils as well as dissolve the proteins on the surface of the tray. You can then clean the tray manually or even mechanical cleaning after this. Mechanical cleaning involves using a washing machine to clean the tray. The machine usually cleans in multiple levels; First, it uses cold water to eradicate any debris present. It then does a hot water bath before blow-drying with hot air.
The main purpose of cleaning is to remove biological materials and dirt present on the tray’s surface. Both mechanical and manual methods of cleaning are effective when using detergent, water, and other enzymatic materials to clean. Remember to clean thoroughly since biological materials can remain on the surface of the tray and this might adversely affect the subsequent steps of sterilization and disinfection. It’s advisable to always protect yourself using goggles, gloves, a mask and plastic apron when doing the cleaning.
To achieve high-level disinfection, you can follow the following steps. Submerge the apparatus in boiling water preferably at 100 degrees for a minute or two to kill bacteria. Remove the tray from the boiling water after a minute using a pair of disinfected tongs. However, boiling water doesn’t sterilize the equipment, which leads us to the next step.
Sterilization is the best way to eliminate harmful microorganisms. You can best achieve sterilization through autoclaving. Chemical sterilants and dry heat are also good alternatives. Sterilization can be achieved at multiple levels including; low-level disinfection, intermediate level disinfection, and high-level disinfection.
- Low-level disinfection removes all the fungi, vegetative bacteria, lipid virus and some non-lipid viruses from the tray surface in ten minutes or even less.
- Intermediate-level disinfection eliminates fungus spores, tubercle bacilli, and lipid-enveloped viruses, and some mycobacteria as well as non-lipid enveloped viruses.
- High-level disinfection destroys fungus spores and all the organisms killed by the low and high-level disinfection levels.
Proper storage and its importance
After the above processes are over, it’s essential to arrange the equipment well as you prepare the storage area. You should ensure that the custom procedure trays have not been damaged in any manner and that there is sufficient storage for the apparatus. The storage area should also be clean to avoid contamination of any sort. You can decide to follow the general set standards for storing medical apparatus as follows;
- Store high-value items in appropriate security zones
- Ensuring all identification labels are visible
- Heeding to FEFO policy
- Follow the instructions of the manufacturer on direction of stacking and proper storage conditions
Proper storage of custom trays not only makes them convenient to deploy at the point of use but also helps maintain sterility and makes it easier to track medical equipment.