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Maintenance

Newly purchased instruments must be cleaned, lubricated and sterilized in an autoclave directly before use.

Surface Maintenance

CHIFA surgical instruments are crafted from the finest German stainless steel resistant to corrosion. The steel has been specially selected to meet various requirements in the field of cutting, constricting, retracting and chiseling. A characteristic property of this type of steel is that it forms passive layers on the instrument’s surface, providing protection against corrosion. These layers act as invisible patina and cause that with each application and exposure to air the instruments become more and more corrosion resistant.
Although the manufacturing process incorporates all treatments aimed at providing resistance to corrosion, the real key to the instruments’ long service life lies in proper maintenance. It is the users’ responsibility to take proper care of the instruments. In a sense, the term „stainless steel” is incorrect and thus cannot be treated literally.
If we mistreat stainless steel it may lose its color and start to corrode abridging the instrument's service life or rendering it useless. Below we present guidelines for proper treatment of surgical instruments.

Transport and Storage

All the instruments should be treated with due care during transport, cleaning, maintenance, sterilization and storage.
This is especially important with regard to blades, fine tips and other delicate elements. Surgical instruments undergo corrosion and their performance is defective when they come into contact with aggressive substances such as acids or aggressive detergents.
After drying the instruments completely, place them in a dry and clean place. Do not store them in places where chemicals may emit corrosive fumes or where fluctuating temperature of humidity may cause vapor to condense on the instruments. Instruments should be stored in dry, clean and humidity-free areas. Instruments should be stored separately in their own primary packaging. If the instruments are kept in a drawer, their tips should be protected by means of cloth, gauze or a special tube.

Proper Use

Instruments are designed for a specific purpose and should be used accordingly. Even the strongest instrument may be damaged if misused, e.g., when nail pliers are used for cutting wire. Using instruments for purposes or in a way differing from that resulting from the name and application may cause damage to the instruments or defects which may lead to serious injury or even death of a patient.
Such use of an instrument causes that the warranty given by CHIFA becomes void.

Cleaning

* Water and stainless steel
Ordinary tap water contains minerals which may cause decoloring and corrosion. Therefore, we recommend the use of distilled water for cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing and rinsing instruments. In order to avoid corrosion use a cleaning solution with a near-neutral pH (7).


* Ultrasound cleaning
The ultrasound method is the most effective and efficient method for cleaning surgical instruments. In order to raise the effectiveness first clean the instruments off any visible residue before placing them in the ultrasonic cleaner. Moreover, we recommend following the rules specified below:
- Do not mix in one cycle instruments made of stainless steel and instruments made of carbon steel covered with a galvanizing layer.
- Open all the instruments so that locks and latches are accessible.
- Avoid stacking instruments one over the other during loading.
- Remove and rinse the instruments immediately after cycle end.
- Dry the instruments immediately after rinsing and leave them in open air to dry completely.
- Lubricate all movable parts.

ATTENTION - After ultrasound cleaning perform a careful inspection of the instruments in terms of potential loosening of particular parts, e.g., loose screws.

* Manual cleaning and soaking
If ultrasound-cleaning equipment is not available, the instruments should be cleaned very carefully. Special attention should be paid to cleaning locks, teeth, hinges and other difficult to access areas. For cleaning use nylon (not steel) brushes and warm (not hot) cleaning solutions. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions while preparing solutions. Change the solution in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Instruments should be treated with utmost care in order not to damage their delicate tips and mechanisms. If the instruments came into contact with blood, tissue, physiological saline or other  foreign substances, they should be rinsed with warm (not hot) water before the substance dries up on the instruments. After rinsing, dip the instrument in a cleaning and disinfecting solution.
The best effects are achieved by cleaning and rinsing the instruments immediately after each application. Delayed cleaning may result in particles sticking to the instruments or secretions drying up making them resistant to cleaning, and in the future difficult or even impossible to sterilize.
Since many chemical compounds and substances have a strong corrosive effect on stainless steel, instruments should be immediately rinsed and dried if they were exposed to any potentially hazardous substances.

Inspection

Before each application check and test the instruments. Visible defects, cracks, deformed elements or blunt blades indicate that the instruments require repair and must not be used.

The best time to check the condition of the instruments is after cleaning and lubrication, after they have cooled down.
The application of defective instruments is strictly forbidden. Never attempt to repair the instruments on your own.
Servicing and repair work should be carried out exclusively by trained and qualified employees of our authorized service point. Questions concerning repair should be reported to the manufacturer.
Upon inspection pay attention to:
* Performance - pliers, forceps and scissors must cut smoothly and close properly. Needle handles and clips must close properly and their tips must meet.
* Surfaces - inspect the surface carefully in search for traces of decoloring, cracks or other irregularities. The most common reasons for decoloring and corrosion include:
- Improper cleaning
- Simultaneous sterilization of instruments made of stainless steel and carbon steel covered with a chrome layer.
- Water contamination.
Inadequate or improper preparation and use of improper cleaning, disinfection or maintenance agents.
- Failure to observe operating procedures for cleaning and sterilization.

Lubrication

After cleaning the instruments and prior to sterilization in an autoclave lubricate all movable parts. If the instruments are to be sterilized in vapor, the use of an authorized water-soluble lubricant is recommended (in accordance with the instructions attached to the instrument).

Sterilization

Sterilization guidelines compliant with the relevant national regulations should be adhered to. Proper parameters regarding the sterilization time, temperature and pressure should be taken from the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the sterilization equipment.

* Lubrication and autoclave sterilization
All instruments must be properly cleaned before being placed in the autoclave. Next, their movable parts such as locks or hinges should be lubricated thoroughly. Use lubricants recommended in the user’s manual enclosed with each CHIFA instrument. Do not use industrial oils. Always sterilize equipment in their open position. It is recommended to wrap the instruments in a cloth and then place them in the container or to spread the cloth on the bottom of the container so that it absorbs humidity. The cloth should be of neutral pH (7) and free of any detergent residue. Before application, leave the instrument to cool down freely to room temperature. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on vapor autoclave operation and loading. Vapor must have free access to all instrument surfaces including inner surfaces, channels and cables.

Regeneration Program

Within this program we will repair and renovate CHIFA instruments and other high quality instruments. Our services also include precise sharpening, adjustments, tip replacement and lubrication.
The majority of services are performed within 14 working days. In case of emergency please contact us in advance to arrange a rush service.
Within this program and in line with CHIFA warranty each faulty CHIFA instrument covered by the /warranty will be replaced or repaired free of charge. All our service repairs are subject to quality tests and assure correct performance of the functions assigned to specific instruments. You may receive more detailed information about our Service Repair Program and a current price list by calling +48 61 4420100 or +48 61 4420260.


CHIFA Instruments Treatment Checklist

1. Rinse and soak contaminated instruments immediately after use. Clean thoroughly before sterilizing in an autoclave.
2. During autoclave sterilization instruments should be open.
3. Do not stack the instruments or allow them to come into contact with one another.
4. Follow the instructions provided by equipment and solution manufacturers.
5. Store the instruments properly lubricated.
6. Perform regular instrument inspections.
7. In case of any problems encountered at any stage of the maintenance process contact the CHIFA representative.