Virginia Beach surgical instruments

Proper care and maintenance is a must for surgical tools like safety scalpels in Virginia Beach. They need to be sterilized and disinfected before and after use. When it comes to instruments like scalpel, forceps, retractors etc. it is understandable that they will be used on vital body organs so you must ensure that they are completely germ free and disinfected before you end up using them. If the surgical instruments are cleaned and disinfected properly there is little to no chance of infections.

bard parker scalpel handle

Correct Use of disposable blades in Virginia Beach

Proper maintenance of these instruments are required in Virginia Beach, and it also increases the life span of the instruments. This results in reducing extra costs like repairs and replacements. Also you need to make sure that the instruments which are disposable are being disposed in a proper way as per the health regulations of Virginia Beach. You do not want them to get used by someone else. So ensure that all needles and other disposable surgical instruments are gathered and properly disposed off, since failure to do so will allow microorganisms to spread to and cause further diseases. These are some of the factors which everyone who uses operating room instruments must keep in mind; they will help in ensuring the safety of the patient as well as the other people in the Virginia Beach area. Hospitals have proper procedures for disposing off such medical devices as well.

Types of Surgical Scalpel

scalpel safety

A scalpel, or lancet, is a small and extremely sharp bladed instrument used for surgery, anatomical dissection, and various arts and crafts (called a hobby knife). Scalpels may be single-use disposable or re-usable. Re-usable scalpels can have permanently attached blades that can be sharpened or, more commonly, removable single-use blades. Disposable scalpels usually have a plastic handle with an extensible blade (like a utility knife) and are used once, then the entire instrument is discarded. Scalpel blades are usually individually packed in sterile pouches but are also offered non-sterile. Double-edged scalpels are referred to as "lancets".

Scalpel blades are usually made of hardened and tempered steel, stainless steel, or high carbon steel; in addition, titanium, ceramic, diamond and even obsidian knives are not uncommon. For example, when performing surgery under MRI guidance, steel blades are unusable (the blades would be drawn to the magnets, or may cause image artifacts). Historically, the preferred material for surgical scalpels was silver, on account of its antimicrobial properties (although the mechanics were not understood at the time). Scalpel blades are also offered by select manufacturers with a zirconium nitride-coated edge to improve sharpness and edge retention. Others manufacture blades that are polymer-coated to enhance lubricity during a cut. Alternatives to scalpels in surgical applications include electrocautery and lasers.

Reusable handle (top) and disposable scalpels (bottom)

Surgical scalpels consist of two parts, a blade and a handle. The handles are often reusable, with the blades being replaceable. In medical applications, each blade is only used once (even if just for a single, small cut).

The handle is also known as a "B.P. handle", named after Charles Russell Bard and Morgan Parker, founders of the Bard-Parker Company. Morgan Parker patented the 2-piece scalpel design in 1915 and Bard-Parker developed a method of cold sterilization that would not dull the blades, as did the heat-based method that was previously used.

The handle of medical scalpels come in two basic types. The first is a flat handle used in the #3 and #4 handles. The #7 handle is more like a long writing pen, rounded at the front and flat at the back. A #4 handle is larger than a #3. Blades are manufactured with a corresponding fitment size so that they fit on only one size handle. The following table of blades is incomplete and some blades listed may work with handles not specified here.

Palmar grip

Also called the "dinner knife" grip. The handle is held with the second through fourth fingers and secured along the base of the thumb, with the index finger extended along the top rear of the blade and the thumb along the side of the handle. This grip is best for initial incisions and larger cuts.

Pencil grip

Best used for more accurate cuts with smaller blades. The scalpel is held with the tips of the first and second fingers and the tip of the thumb with the handle resting on the fleshy base of the index finger and thumb. Care should be taken not to allow the handle to rest too far along the index finger as this promotes an unstable grip and cramped fingers.

X-Acto knife

Graphical and model-making scalpels tend to have round handles, with textured grips (either knurled metal or soft plastic). These are often called by the name of the most well-known manufacturer of graphic arts blades, X-Acto knives. The blade is usually flat and straight, allowing it to be run easily against a straightedge to produce straight cuts.

There are many kinds of graphic arts blades; the most common around the graphic design studio is the #11 blade which is very similar to a #11 surgical blade (q.v.). Other blade shapes are used for wood carving, cutting leather and heavy fabric, etc.

Needlestick injury

In the last decade, a rising awareness of the dangers of sharps in a medical environment has led to the development of various methods of protecting healthcare workers from accidental cuts and puncture wounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 1,000 people each day are subject to accidental needle sticks and lacerations while providing medical care. Scalpel blade injuries are among the most frequent sharps injuries, second only to needlesticks. Scalpel injuries make up 7 percent to 8 percent of all sharps injuries.

"Scalpel Safety" is a term coined to inform users that there are choices available to them to ensure their protection from this common sharps injury.

Safety scalpels are becoming increasingly popular as their prices come down and also on account of legislation such as the Needle Stick Prevention Act. There are essentially two kinds of disposable safety scalpels offered by various manufacturers. They can be either classified as retractable blade or retractable sheath type. The retractable blade version made by companies such as OX Med Tech, DeRoyal, Jai Surgicals, and Swann Morton are more intuitive to use due to their similarities to a standard box-cutter. Retractable sheath versions have much stronger ergonomic feel for the doctors and are made by companies such as Aditya Dispomed, Aspen Surgical and Southmedic. A few companies have also started to offer a safety scalpel with a reusable metal handle. In such models, the blade is usually protected in a cartridge. Such systems usually require a custom handle and the price of blades and cartridges is considerably more than for conventional surgical blades.

However, CDC studies shows that up to 87% of active medical devices are not activated. Safety scalpels are active devices and therefore the risk of not activating is still significant. There is a study that indicated there were actually four times more injuries with safety scalpels than reusable scalpels.

There are various scalpel blade removers on the market that allows users to safely remove blades from the handle, instead of dangerously using fingers or forceps. In the medical field, when taking into account activation rates, the combination of a single-handed scalpel blade remover with a passing tray or a neutral zone was as safe and up to five times safer than a safety scalpel. Companies like Qlicksmart offers a single-handed scalpel blade remover that complies with regulatory requirements such as US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standards.

The usage of both safety scalpels and a single-handed blade remover, combined with a hands-free passing technique, are potentially effective in reducing scalpel blade injuries. It is up to employers and scalpel users to consider and use safer and more effective scalpel safety measures when feasible.

Proper Surgical Instruments

Hospitals can be scary sometimes but we can’t deny the fact that millions of lives are saved in these institutions every day. Being a doctor is definitely not an easy affair. Not only do these professionals have to become masters in understanding human biology but they also have to perfect their skills and capabilities of using various medical instruments. Can you think of a painter without the required paint brushes? Or a carpenter without his tools? Similarly, a doctor without his medical devices would be just like an audience on a show where, ideally, he should be performing on stage. No operation or diagnosis or procedure or even test can be carried out without necessary tools and equipment. It is important to know what these tools are and what their utilities are.

So if you are interested in medical tools and procedures and would like to understand how these are carried out, here is a list of the most basic medical instruments that you can find on an operating room. Hope this article helps you in your search for information.

# Scissors

The use of scissors as operating room instruments need not be highlighted or stated. No operation can be done without scissors. Scissors used in surgery come in two main types: Metzenbaum and Mayo scissors. Metzenbaum scissors are used in case of cutting or dissecting soft delicate tissues. Mayo scissors are preferred for cutting hard tissues such as joints. These scissors are used to cut thick tissues located in the breast and the muscles. Made up of stainless steel, these scissors are usually manufactured in variable lengths.

# Scalpel

Whether it is a major or a minor operation, a scalpel plays a very vital role in all of them. It is a knife that comes with stainless steel blades. Each and every surgery has its different needs but during every surgery, a correct incision is a must which cannot be carried out without a scalpel.

# Forceps

Forceps look like kitchen tongs. It allows the surgeon to hold and grasp the skin tissues firmly. Whether it is clamping the arteries or holding a part of intestine while operating, forceps can be relied upon. Also, this surgical instrument comes in a range of sizes so that the surgeon can choose one depending upon the need of the situation. The large ones are designed to hold a baby’s head and their main purpose is to safely get the baby out from the birth canal during a cesarean.

Of course there are other tools as well which will vary from surgery to surgery. They are manufactured with a wide variety of materials like platinum, stainless steel, tungsten carbide, chromium and other non-reactive and high strength metals. Designs and applications of medical devices have also evolved much over time. The more we advance into health care and medical science, the more new tools and equipment we will create for aiding surgeons in performing life saving procedures.


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