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Development of a “Scissor-Tip-Separator” for adjustment of scissor blade separation and prevention of scissor blade damage during steam sterilization

Patient Saf Surg. 2022 Aug 23;16(1):28. doi: 10.1186/s13037-022-00338-5.


BACKGROUND: Reprocess reusable surgical instruments during steam sterilization; damage occurs to sharp scissor blades in close position, so steam cannot reach the blades. Surgical instruments’ management requires standards to ensure patient safety and prevent harmful pathogens, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic. Although various devices can separate scissor blades, they do not prevent damage to cutting edges. To address the above problem, we developed a new scissor protector, the “Scissor-Tip-Separator,” and evaluated its efficacy.

METHODS: The “Scissor-Tip-Separator” design follows the steam sterilization guideline that instrument tips must be separated. The locking handles and V groove mechanism keep the scissor blades separated while preventing damage to the cutting edges. For efficacy assessment, purposive sampling was performed to select 44 Thai perioperative nurses at Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, to evaluate the “Scissor-Tip-Separators” in 450 sterile instrument containers. All participants evaluated surgical scissors placed in the “Scissor-Tip-Separators” during instrument setup, following a problem record checklist. At the end of the fifth use, participants were asked to complete the “Scissor-Tip-Separator” Effectiveness Scale, which was used to test the structural design of the “Scissor-Tip-Separator” in terms of function, usability, and safety. The Adenosine Triphosphate surface test was also used to validate the “Scissor-Tip-Separator” cleanliness. Data were collected from August 2020 to November 2020, then analyzed via descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: The “Scissor-Tip-Separator” met the cleaning validation criteria, and in 44 uses, the physical property remained the same. The scissor shank was discovered loose from the handle before it had been unlocked (0.2-0.4%) at the 45th use. Based on participants’ opinions, the overall instrument effectiveness was high in terms of function, usability, and safety.

CONCLUSION: The “Scissor-Tip-Separator” regulates scissor blade separation under sterilization guidelines; it prevents damage to cutting edges, thus ensuring patient safety. It protects against losses in a sterile field and can prevent hand injuries.

PMID:35999555 | DOI:10.1186/s13037-022-00338-5

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