Inspecting Surgical Instruments
A comprehensive textbook
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Proper Cleaning of Surgical Instruments to Avoid Rust & Stains

Understanding the difference between Rust vs. Stains on surgical instruments.

Stains can be removed, whereas rust will leave permanent damage. To determine if a brown/orange discoloration is a stain or rust, use the eraser test. Rub a pencil eraser aggressively over the discoloration. If the discoloration is removed with the eraser and the metal underneath is smooth and clean, this is a stain.

If a pit mark appears under the discoloration, this is corrosion or rust.

 

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