A powerful tool in the health care field is the ultrasonic energy. Dental clinics, hospitals and in the manufacturing of surgical instruments, implants, prostheses, and orthopedic devices all use ultrasonic cleaners. These are used to remove removing contaminants that can spread pathogens endangering the health of caregivers and patients a first step. A compact model of the ultrasonic cleaner can be used for home cleaning of items like scissors, nail trimmers, dentures, toothbrushes and other instruments.
The results of this simple ultrasonic cleaning process are absolutely amazing. An ultrasonic cleaning solution is filled in the tank. The composition of this ultrasonic cleaning solution is governed by the fact as to what is being cleaned. The solutions that are used for the cleaning today are in concentrate form and are also biodegradable for the reason of safe disposal. For example, in case for home units’ water containing surfactant can also be opted for.
Ultrasonic transducers transfer energy that are produced by ultrasonic generator into the cleaning solution through the tank bottom. The transducers are fitted to the outside bottom of the tank.
The surgical or dental instruments that need cleaning are placed in baskets that are suspended in the solution. As soon as the cleaner is turned on, the energy results in creation of billions of air bubbles that are microscopic and they make violent contact with the items that require cleaning. This process is named as cavitation. The contaminations are effectively and instantly removed from the surfaces of the instruments. This all is done without damaging the instruments in any way and that too without mechanical scrubbing. The time required for this process is less than 10 minutes. After cleaning the instruments ultrasonically, they are rinsed and WHO recommendations are followed in disinfection and sterilization.
Ultrasonics and Sound
The type of cleaning being done is matched by the frequencies by the ultrasonic cleaners. A frequency of 37 kHz (37,000 cycles per second) is typically employed for the cleaning of medical instruments. Heavy duty parts cleaning employ lower frequencies of 25 kHz. Higher frequencies such as 130 kHz are the reason of production of cavitation that ensures that highly polished and delicate parts are not affected. Although the sounds produced are well below the hearing frequencies still the cleaning of parts creates sounds that are audible. Ear protectors can be used if this sound is not pleasant as well as sound insulation around the tank can also be used.
Standard operating procedures for the maintenance of cleaners and solutions is important when it comes to health care equipment manufactures that use ultrasonic cleaning.
When it comes to surgical instruments, then as soon as the solution becomes dirty visibly it should be changed or it will take longer time for cleaning. Tanks should be emptied and cleaned carefully so as to remove contaminations that may harm the tanks. The life of the cleaning solution can be extended by using bath filters.
To ensure that no passing of biological contaminations to new batches being cleaned occurs in hospitals and clinics that use ultrasonic energy for cleaning, the solution should be cleaned on a daily basis. Filtration systems are not a solution for long life of cleaning solutions in this case.