Surgical Instruments: Reusable vs. Disposable

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12 Questions

What is the FDA’s final guidance on reprocessing reusable medical devices?

Emphasizing the importance of instrument design

Why are disposable instruments considered ideal for non-critical applications?

Convenience and reliability at an affordable cost

What materials were used for the first surgical instruments?

Teeth and hands

What factor does the FDA's final guidance single out as affecting instrument reprocessing?

Human factors

During which period did the discovery of iron and steel move surgical instruments into modernity?


What has initiated the movement towards the use of disposable instruments?

Reducing the time cost and liability associated with the care and cleaning of reusable instruments

Who is referred to as the father of modern medicine in the text?


During which period did Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi make the greatest advancements in surgical instruments?


Why did the advent of stainless steel surgical instruments put an end to crafting instruments out of wood or decorative materials?

Because wood and decorative materials did not hold up to the heat of steam sterilization.

What was the partial solution to the corrosion of steel instruments at the end of the 1800s?

Chrome and nickel plating

Why is stainless steel ideally suited for the surgical suite?

It can be honed to an extremely sharp edge or fine point.

How long can instruments made of stainless steel last with proper care and handling?

Two to five years, depending on the grade of the steel and bonding used.

Study Notes

FDA Guidance on Reprocessing Reusable Medical Devices

  • The FDA's final guidance on reprocessing reusable medical devices emphasizes the importance of proper reprocessing to ensure device safety.
  • Instrument reprocessing is affected by the material used to make the device.

Ideal Instrument Materials

  • Disposable instruments are considered ideal for non-critical applications due to their convenience, low cost, and reduced risk of infection.
  • The first surgical instruments were made from materials such as wood, bone, and stone.
  • The advent of stainless steel surgical instruments eliminated the need for crafting instruments from wood or decorative materials due to their durability and resistance to corrosion.

Historical Development of Surgical Instruments

  • The discovery of iron and steel during the Industrial Revolution (18th-19th centuries) moved surgical instruments into modernity.
  • Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi made the greatest advancements in surgical instruments during the Islamic Golden Age (8th-13th centuries).
  • The movement towards disposable instruments was initiated by concerns about hospital-acquired infections and the need for improved patient safety.

Properties of Stainless Steel

  • Stainless steel is ideally suited for the surgical suite due to its corrosion resistance, durability, and ability to be sterilized.
  • The partial solution to the corrosion of steel instruments at the end of the 1800s was the development of stainless steel.
  • With proper care and handling, stainless steel instruments can last for many years, often 10-15 years or more.

Key Figures

  • The father of modern medicine is Hippocrates.

Explore the differences between reusable and disposable surgical instruments, and their impact on patient outcomes and healthcare practices. Ideal for professionals in the surgical, central service supply, instrument manufacturing, and healthcare fields.

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