Surgical Instruments Best practices

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Scalpel

Scalpel

Scalpels are used for incising the skin and a wide range of blade shapes and types is available depending on the tissue to be incised.

Scalpel should be used in the following manner:

1. Hold gently between index finger and thumb.

2. Incise the skin by holding the scalpel at an angle of 90° to the skin.

Scissors

Scissors

There are 2 types of scissors depending on the material to be cut. One is for soft tissues and the other is for firmer tissues such as sutures. 

Scissors should be used in the following manner: 

1. Insert the thumb and ring fingers into the rings of the scissors so that just the distal phalanges are within the rings. 

2. Use the index finger to steady the scissors by placing it over the joint. 

3. When cutting tissues or sutures, especially at depth, it often helps to steady the scissors over the index finger of the other hand.

4. Cut with the tips of the scissors for accuracy rather than using the crutch which will run the risk of damaging tissues beyond the item being divided and will also diminish accuracy

Needle Holder

Needle Holder

There are different types of needle holders depending on the type of suturing. For delicate, fine suturing use a fine short-handled needle. Suturing at depth requires a long-handled needle holder.

The needle holder should be used in the following manner: 

 

1. Grasp the needle holders in a similar manner to scissors.

2. Hold the needle in the tip of the jaws about two-thirds of the way along its circumference, never at its very delicate point and never too near the swaged eye.

3. Use the ratchet lock to secure the position. 

Haemostats

Haemostats (artery forceps)

Haemostats are used to clamp vessels that are going to be cut. The instrument will hold the vessel closed so that blood will not come out when cutting.

Haemostats should be used in the following manner: 

1. Hold in a similar manner to scissors.

2. Place on vessels using the tips of the jaws. 

3. Use the ratchet lock to secure the position. 

Holding the needle

Holding the needle

Surgical needles present a specially designed body that allws a perfect hold when grasped by the needle holder at 2/3 of te needle length as shown in the pictures. 

When penetrating the tissues, always hold the needle tip at an angle of 90° to the tissue's surface. This will ensure the optimal hold of the tissues being sutured.