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Archive March 2020 XXI, No. 3

Making the Case for Rigid Containers

Better instrument protection and environmental benefits are just a few of the reasons facilities are deciding to do away with blue wrap.

Jared Bilski


BETTER OPTION Reprocessing techs appreciate the convenience and added efficiencies of working with rigid containers.

Why continue to carefully cover instrument trays with blue wrap — making even folds, straightening the edges and neatly taping the package shut — when you can place tools in the customized inlays of rigid sterilization containers, snap on a lid and send them through the autoclave? The choice seems obvious when you consider the benefits rigid containers offer to time-strapped sterile processing professionals.

1. Instrument upkeep

You can make a compelling case for investing in rigid containers by focusing on greater instrument longevity. "Rigid containers simply protect instruments better than blue wrap does," says Nancy Chobin, RN, AAS, ACSP, CSPM, CFER, president of Sterile Processing University, a New Jersey-based organization that provides online continuing education for sterile processing professionals. "That's especially important when you consider the amount of money facilities invest in surgical instruments. An average hospital easily spends more than $1 million in basic instrumentation."

Rigid containers are designed to keep even your most delicate instruments safe and secure with customizable posts, dividers, brackets and sprockets. This is especially important for particularly vulnerable tools. "Microsurgical instruments are so delicate, you have to do everything you can to protect them from damage," says Ms. Chobin. She points out that a customizable rigid sterilization container tray for eye instruments can include a small tray where each instrument can be secured in its own sprocket. "Because of the design of the inside of the basket, you're able to put these microsurgical instruments through the washer in a way that you never have to touch them by hand," says Ms. Chobin. "The instruments are no longer damaged."

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