Pilot Study: Post-surgical Infections Could Be Related With Lack of Sharpness in Surgical Tools
Despite rigorous sterilization protocols placed in surgical procedures, there is demonstrated evidence that show patients contract infections while hospitalized. This study aims to investigate the presence of biological materials in osteotome surgical tools after sterilization processes, determine the relationship between lack of sharpness and cross-contamination, and evaluate the influence of materials surface coating as a potential contamination preventive. Three commercially available osteotomes with different surface coatings were studied and submitted to a procedure of bone-cutting cycles. After use, each was sterilized and examined under SEM and EDS. Bone contaminants were detected in each osteotome although the PVD coated osteotome demonstrated significantly less contamination than either the as-supplied or electroless nickel coated one. According to the results, there is an association between blade sharpness and post-sterilization bone contamination. These findings suggest either disposable osteotomes should be used in surgical procedures, or an effective sharpen process should both be established and monitored to minimise post-operative infections.