One of the foremost hospitals in the Zambia copper belt -- at Luanshya -- has become a service station for sterilising surgical instruments for use in a number of other hospitals in the area.
Instruments being packaged; packages in sterilising plant; surgeon preparing to use package of instruments; operation in progress; child patient.
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Background: One of the foremost hospitals in the Zambia copper belt -- at Luanshya -- has become a service station for sterilising surgical instruments for use in a number of other hospitals in the area. At Luanshya, instruments needed for all types of operations are sterilised in plastic packs. From there, the packs are sent to the hospitals, where they are stored until needed.
This method of pre-packing and sterilising instruments has been pioneered in Europe and the United States and is proving its worth in the Luanshya group.
With the ready-sterilised instruments in storage, surgeons are able to undertake operations without waiting the usual twenty minutes for instruments to be sterilised in boiling water. In this way, the turn-round of patients in a hospital operating theatre is considerably speeded up.
Luanshya supplies each hospital with complete packages containing instruments necessary for any particular operation. When used, the packages are simply returned to Luanshya and re-sterilised.
The sterilisation is done the modern "dry" method using a vacuum and steam under pressure. Batches of the instruments packs are treated together so as to keep a ready supply of instruments available.