Surgical instrument care: cleaning, sterilising and inspecting.

Should You Avoid Chrome-Plated Surgical Instruments?

Chrome-plated surgical instruments have long been a popular choice for hospitals. They are durable and highly resistant to scratching, pealing, flaking, chipping, and corrosion. They’re also easy to clean and sterilise. Plus, smooth chrome-plated surfaces can reduce friction, meaning that instruments move exactly as expected during delicate medical procedures.

If you have heard that the EU is planning to ban chrome-plating on cars due to certain health concerns, then you may also be wondering if it is safe to use chrome on surgical instruments?

What Are the Health Risks of Chrome-Plating?

The chrome-plating process may involve Hexavalent chromium, which is a carcinogen. It may also use lead. If lead gets absorbed through the skin, it can lead to organ damage, and even brain damage. Some chrome plating-processes also use cyanide, which is highly toxic, and cadmium, which has been linked to cancers, as well as kidney and lung failure.

Environmental Impact of Chrome-Plating

The various heavy metals used in the chrome-plating process, as well as being harmful to human health, are also damaging to the environment. There may be a health risk to anyone who lives or works near a metal finishing facility. And if the facility does not treat its wastewater, it can lead to significant environmental concerns.

Should You Avoid Chrome-Plated Surgical Instruments?

There may be certain risks associated with using chrome-plated surgical instruments, as well as the environmental impact of the chrome-plating process. While there is no current or up-coming legislation looking to ban the use of chrome-plated surgical instruments, there are alternatives available.

Surgical Instruments – Chrome-Free Alternatives

If you want to avoid the potential health risks and the environmental impact associated with chrome-plated surgical instruments, the good news is that alternatives are available.

We stock the Stille range of surgical instruments. This range includes the Stille SuperCut XE scissors which  are made with an innovative chrome free coating process. Instead of chrome, they use a thin layer of diamond-like carbon. This makes them reliably durable and highly resistant to discolouration. The coating is also validated to withstand the more common hydro peroxide processes, such as Oxivario disinfection and Sterrad sterilization. What’s more, their dark surfaces reduce reflections to help minimise eye fatigue.

As well as offering dependable performance and unbeatable longevity, the chrome-free plating process also makes Stille instruments much more sustainable. Going chrome-free is a good way to reduce the carbon footprint of your surgical instruments, and this simple choice can also contribute to making your entire theatre more environmentally friendly.

Get Chrome-Free World Leading Stille Surgical Instruments From Cairn Technology

At Cairn Technology, we supply one of the most comprehensive ranges of Stille surgical instruments on the UK market. Our range covers all surgical disciplines, including cardiovascular, thoracic, orthopaedic, plastic surgery, and general surgery.

With their chrome-free plating process, Stille’s SuperCut XE scissors can contribute to a more sustainable theatre environment. On top of that, Stille’s precision surgical instruments come with a 30-year warranty, which is much longer than most other manufacturers.

This is one reason why many of our customers have switched to Stille instruments. As they’re so durable, and offer such a long warranty, these high-quality hand-crafted instruments will not have to be repaired and replaced as often as other instruments. They therefore provide hospitals with a more cost-effective investment over time.

Click here to learn more about our range of Stille surgical instruments, or  contact us to discuss your  our chrome free Stille instruments.