Servicing slip-ups that scrap surgical instruments
If you’ve recently made a significant investment in high quality surgical instruments, you will most probably have justified the spend not only because of their superior performance but also their promised longevity.
However, it is not unheard of for surgeons to suddenly find their coveted instruments transformed into worthless scrap – all because of a decision to send them for servicing to someone other than the original manufacturer.
As a result, there are often unfortunate situations where inexperienced servicing technicians have completely ruined instruments that would have otherwise continued to be of use for decades.
Sometimes this is through damage to the instrument surface, other times to the proper alignment of instruments parts. One way or another, the net result will be a very unhappy surgeon.
A very costly mistake
Not only can poorly-serviced instruments cause problems in operating theatre efficiency, where instruments that were expected to be available are no longer even usable, but you are also likely to find that the warranty on your instruments is completely void.
That is because most manufacturers of surgical instruments stipulate that any servicing must be carried out by their own expert servicing technicians. The reason for this is that the manufacturer has an intimate knowledge of how their instruments are made and as such how they need to be serviced.
Remember regular instrument servicing
Even where a Trust or private hospital stipulates that surgical instruments must always be returned to the manufacturer for servicing, there can be problems where recommended servicing frequency is ignored.
That is because servicing of the instruments at the correct times is vital for minimising the risk of corrosion, blunt edges and worn parts, which can compromise the performance of the instruments. What’s more, by effectively restoring the instruments to an optimum condition during servicing, the life of the instruments is prolonged.
Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you buy a top-quality instrument with a long warranty that means it doesn’t need regular servicing.
For example, Stille AB surgical instruments come with the longest warranty on the market at 30 years. However, the manufacturer still recommends that their instruments are serviced every 3 years to ensure their instruments last for as long as possible.
In practice, this means that some Stille instruments are still being used after 50 years of service. Proof indeed that those who pay attention to proper instrument servicing throughout their careers can end up with a career’s worth of service from their instruments.