A medical facility in St. Louis has filed suit against its laundry service for allegedly supplying the medical center with towels which caused damage to their surgical instruments during the sterilization process. The hospital is claiming that traces of flourosilic acid on the towels, absorbed through the service’s cleaning process, caused corrosion, left the surgical instruments discolored and caused them to be discarded.
The cleaning service is disputing the suit and disagrees there is a link between the acid and the damage to the surgical instruments.
Fluorosilicic acid is a transparent, corrosive liquid having the chemical formula of H2SiF6, which decomposes into hydrofluoric acid and silicon tetrafluoride.
Stainless steel surgical instruments are protected by a thin layer of chromium oxide. The protective layer surrounding stainless steel surgical instruments is removed with any exposure to acid, solutions containing chloride or an acid based detergent. Once the protective layer is removed, the acid can attack the unprotected steel causing damage and pitting.
The proper care of surgical instruments is crucial to the safety of medical facilities. That’s why at IMS we not only supply high quality stainless steel surgical instruments, we support our customers with a quality education on how to properly clean, sterilize and handle their surgical instruments before and after entering the operating room. To view more information on the proper care of surgical instruments, or to supply your facility with the highest quality surgical instruments, visit our website.
Click here to read the full article in relating to the St. Louis case.