Re: Sterilising instruments

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From:Mick Rentsch <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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Dear Alex,
use Sodium Hypochlorite bleach Stabilised with either Sodium or potassium
Hydroxide 4% (Do not use unstabilised as  looses about 1% /week from a 12.5%
stock and you cannot use it in confidence) Unless the domestic bleach is
less than 4 months old, treat as being 5% even if label says 10% because the
stablilised material doesn't seem to drop much below 5% over the next 12
months, whereas the unstabilised is only as effective as tap water by this
Your working solution should be diluted to about 10,000ppm of available
chlorine; you will need to replace this every two to three days as the
diluted form is no longer stabilised.(Ref."Infection Conyrol in the Health
Care Setting" Apr.1996)
Only leave your instruments in the solution for about 10 minutes and make
sure you rinse well after use, as Hypo along with Mercury is one of the few
compunds that will cause corrosion of stainless steel esp. if there are
impurities in the steel.
The Working solution can also be used for treating spills of unfixed
material eg. Cyst fluid , ascites etc. the hypo will not only sterilise HIV
etc. it will also digest blood etc and make it eaasy to remove.
Make sure you wear gloves at all times.
Use only in well ventilated area, if not well ventilated, set up a fan to
direct any fumes away from you and other workers.
Do not under any circumstances dilute or use with hot water as Chlorine gas
may evolve, this includes mopping up any spill- use only cold water.
While I'm not sure on this point, there may be a increased risk of BCME
formation  with formaldehyde vapour, esp. if Chlorine is evolved due to
presence of acid or hot water in sink of cut-up area:- so try not to use the
same sink to discard the used or exhausted solutions.
Regards Mike Rentsch (Downunder)
-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Brown <>
To: 'Histonet' <>
Date: Thursday, 5 November 1998 1:17
Subject: Sterilising instruments

>Hi All,
>          I'm looking for advice / comments on the sterilising of
>disecting instruments used for cut-up/take-in/grossing of histology
>specimens.  We currently soak ours in 'Asep' ( a 2% gluteraldehyde
>solution ). Due to safety regulations we keep being told we shouldn't be
>using gluteraldehyde based solutions. It works well, doesn't corrode the
>instruments, is on a ventilated bench (downdraft) and we always wear
>gloves when handling it. Not good enough apparently !!  We've tried
>'Virkon' (corroded the tools) our Control of Infection dept. doesn't
>trust 'Trigene' and 'NuCidex' is too expensive.
>Question :  What do you all use ???
> We did consider a benchtop washer/steriliser  -   Again too expensive
> All opinions / comments gratefully received,
> Alex Brown
> Crosshouse Hospital
> Kilmarnock, Scotland.

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