For the safety and protection of healthcare workers, surgical instruments that are cleaned must undergo disinfection before further handling. This process ensures harmful pathogens are killed to protect surgeons and nurses. The level is disinfection required will vary based on how each surgical instrument was used and the patient. In general, surgical equipment that is used for invasive procedures will require a high level of disinfection. In addition, instruments used on a patient with deadly disease, like Tuberculosis, will require a high level of disinfection.
There are 2 primary methods for disinfection of surgical instruments central sterile teams will use. Heat is a common procedure since this is quite inexpensive and simple. However, this is not a kill all method and for this reason chemical disinfection is also used. Chemical disinfection involves the use of active agents like formaldehyde or glutaraldehyde to kill certain micro-organisms.