Answer: Instruments ideally should be clean as soon as possible after use, sometimes this is not possible. If you are taking the instruments to be immediately sterilised there is no requirement for a pre soak.
Instruments need to be kept moist prior to sterilisation in order to make them easier to clean if they are being left for period of time, in comparison to being left without moisture.
For instruments being left over night the duck bags are a recommendation rather than the pre soak. This is so the instruments are kept in a moist environment instead of being submerged, when instruments are kept in a submerged wet condition for a long period of time rust may start to develop. Keeping the instruments in a moist conidition prevents gross bioburden from drying on the instruments.
HTM 01-05 states that:
3.5 Instruments cleaned as soon as possible after use may be more easily cleaned than those left for a number of hours before reprocessing. Where this is not possible, water immersion or the use of a foam spray or gel intended to maintain a moist or humid environment are thought useful in aiding subsequent decontamination. Long periods of wet storage should, however, be avoided.
Isopharm offer both a pre-soak and duck bags in order to help our customer comply with HTM 01-05 guidelines.
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