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People astonished by what happens to surgical equipment after an operation

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

People astonished by what happens to surgical equipment after an operation

TikTok users are astonished after finding out what happens to surgical equipment once they've been used, with some admitting they had simply assumed tools got ‘thrown away’. Watch the video explainer here:

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A new video from the University Health Network in Toronto reveals the process behind ‘reprocessing’ surgical instruments after they’ve been used, explaining how they are cleaned at the MDRD – the Medical Device Reprocessing Department.

The clip proved to be a hit with curious social media users, racking up 1.8 million views and more than 120,000 likes after being posted recently.

Instruments get taken to the MDRD. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto
Instruments get taken to the MDRD. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto

In the video, a narrator says clinical tools are taken to the MDRD to get cleaned, adding: “30 carts arrive at the decontamination area. Everything is scanned to identify who’s processing them.”

The first step in the process is decontamination.

The first stage is decontamination. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto
The first stage is decontamination. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto

“[Scalpels] and instruments are cleaned by hand in sinks, then disinfected in automatic washers,” the video says, before moving on to step two: preparation.

The narrator continues: “The trays are automatically unloaded in the MDRD preparation area, and chemical indicators placed inside every bundle and tray as a sterilisation check.

“The instruments are organised and inspected, and then the tray is packaged.”

Step two is preparation. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto
Step two is preparation. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto

Next up is step three – sterilisation for up to 90 minutes at 273 degrees Fahrenheit – before the final stage of storage and distribution.

"Once the carts have cooled, they are moved to final stage of sterile storage and distribution,” the video explains.

“Based on requirements for the next day, staff pull all the items for upcoming procedures.

“The cart is packaged and then delivered safely to a clean elevator.”

Tools are sterilised for up to 90 minutes at 273 degrees Fahrenheit. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto
Tools are sterilised for up to 90 minutes at 273 degrees Fahrenheit. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto

The narrator adds: “Over half a million bundles and trays are delivered by MDRD staff to you each year.”

The behind-the-scenes tour fascinated TikTok users, with many commenting to say how amazed they were by the complex process.

"This is so cool!!" one said.

Someone else wrote: "WOW."

A third commented: "Not me at once thinking that they are just brand new and get thrown away."

The final stage of the process. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto
The final stage of the process. Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto

A fourth added: "As someone whos getting surgery soon i know that it’s sterile but seeing it be cleaned makes me less anxious abt what if this or that happened."

Many others spoke up to reveal they had worked in this field themselves, with one recalling: "I did this job for 10 years, this job is the heart of the hospital."

Someone else wrote: "I work in sterile processing and this is amazing to show people what goes on!"

One other said: "I almost did this for a job, but you have to remember SOOOOOOOOO many toool names."

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@uhntoronto

Topics: World News, Health, TikTok, Technology

Jess Hardiman
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