Martha Jefferson Monday: How Are Surgical Instruments Cleaned? - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: How Are Surgical Instruments Cleaned?

The central sterile department at Martha Jefferson Hospital is a place that most people will never see. However, without it, the hospital would not be able to operate. 

In central sterile, thousands of pieces of equipment needed during surgery are cleaned and prepared to be used again by patients. 

"Everything with contaminants stays with us and doesn't go off with someone else or with another piece of equipment," said Cheryl Ryder,, BSN, RN, central sterile supply supervisor. 

The room is divided into three area: one section for decontamination, another for packing and sterilizing and a final for storage.  

When dirty supplies and tools come out of surgery they are checked and sorted, then put through a high-powered washer. After being washed, the equipment goes through yet another step in the process, which is the sterilizer. 

"Sterilization is like baking at home. We get it up to a certain temperature, at least 270 degrees, and so it kills all the microorganisms that might still be on those instruments," said Ryder. 

Once the final step is complete, the items are marked with a special stripe to indicate they are ready for use and are safe to be taken back to the operating room. 

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.  

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Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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