The instruments and devices that you use in your veterinary practice are one of the key tools when ensuring that your practice delivers efficient and safe patient care. Despite this, many of us underestimate the impact that poorly managed or cleaned instruments can have on your practice’s reputation and the risks incurred on the safety of the animals you treat.

STERIS has extensive experience when it comes to the management of your surgical instruments. From ensuring your instruments are effectively utilised to sterilising the most complex robotic devices. STERIS Animal Health aims to share best practice knowledge from the health care sector and pass this along to give vets and vet nurses the knowledge required to deliver excellent and safe pet patient care within the veterinary sector. The best part? it is not difficult or challenging to implement!

Let’s start with 5 reasons why you should give your surgical instruments some extra TLC:

  1. Pet Patient safety – This is the main and most important outcome of an effective surgical instrument management plan. A non-sterile or damaged instrument can cause severe harm to pet patients on the operating table and unless there is a watertight process in place, practices can face challenges in not being able to identify when a practice (or lack of) is not up to standard.
  2. Antimicrobial resistance – We all know that this has been on the agenda of the NHS for some time now, but it is also impacting the care of your pet patients. Therefore, it is even more important to ensure that we minimise the need for antibiotic treatments by driving down post operation infection rates in our veterinary practices and we can go some way towards his by implementing pre and post-surgical proactive interventions such as the safe and effective sterilisation of your surgical instruments.
  3. Cost – We all know that sadly we do not have endless budgets but have you ever considered that by making a few simple changes to the way in which you handle and store your instruments you could save your veterinary practice time and money longer term. By taking care of your surgical inventory you will not end up having to purchase new instruments and devices on a regular basis, and as we know, some instruments and devices do not come cheap! Ensuring that instruments and devices are handled and cleaned appropriately can make a huge difference to the lifespan of your inventory and make sure you get more value for your money.
  4. Your safety – We know that an animals safety is the most important consideration for vets and vet nurses. But, it is also important to ensure our own safety when handling instruments and devices. A damaged or non-sterile instrument poses a threat to anyone handling it and we want to make sure we strive towards having a safe environment for our colleagues and employees.
  5. Time – We know Veterinary practices are busy places and that vets and vet nurses work tirelessly to make sure that they can meet tight schedules. Never related time constraints to how your instruments are cleaned and handled? Perhaps it’s time to think again, a damaged or dirty instrument can cause delays or in the worst case, it can cause damage to your pet patient during the procedure which can lead to serious complications. Inspecting instruments prior to sterilisation or use is therefore vital to ensure that everything is working the way it should before the patient is put on the operating table.

Are you keen on learning more about how you can improve the management of your instruments and devices? STERIS Animal Health are hosting a CPD event focusing on how to improve instruments sterilisation in your practice. For more information and to reserve your space please contact

Stay tuned for the top tips for how to manage your surgical instruments and more insights from STERIS Animal Health Services!

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