Stainless Steel Surgical Blade
Stainless steel and carbon blades are differentiated by the amount of carbon each one contains; carbon steel tends to contain more carbon than stainless. Stainless steel blades have the advantage of resisting corrosion and rust, which weakens the blade, unlike carbon steel blades which are more susceptible.
- Blade is composed of stainless steel;
- Resistant to rust and corrosion.
Carbon Steel Surgical Blade
Carbon blades tend to be harder than stainless steel blades, meaning that stainless steel blades will lose their sharpness and cutting ability sooner than carbon steel.
- Blade is composed of carbon steel;
- Blade potentially retains sharpness longer than stainless steel blades due to improved hardness. This is not of high importance however, due to disposable nature of blade.
Utilizing the correct grip of a scalpel is essential for safety of both the patient being operated on and the surgeon. It also ensures precise, clean cuts at the correct location to be operated on.
There are 2 primary grips to hold a medical scalpel, and a variation from one of these grips is deemed as unsuitable. They are the Palmar grip and the Pencil grip.
The Palmar grip is held between the second and fourth fingers. The base of the thumb acts as the stabilizer, and the index finger is placed in such a way that it runs along the top rear of the blade, with the thumb located along the handle. This grip is preferred when performing starting cuts or larger incisions.
The Pencil grip involves the use of the tips of the first and second finger as well as the thumb, with the handle positioned on the base of the index finger and thumb, much like holding a pencil (how the term was coined). This grip is preferred when making more precise, smaller incisions, and especially if the blade is smaller, as this grip provides more control and accuracy. Precautions should be taken to prevent the handle from being positioned to far up the index finger, as this promotes instability and the fingers becoming cramped, compromising cutting ability and safety.
When making the incision, extreme care must be taken to ensure the mapped out line of the cut is followed and the required depth of the cut is maintained. The physician operating the blade must remain vigilant to avoid slipping, which could have dire consequences for the patient. A steady hand and concentration is crucial for the cut to be made safely and successfully.
It is imperative that the surgical blade is not used if the packaging or seal is compromised. Evidence of this may suggest tampering, and results in the loss of sterility. If one should come across a blade within comprised packaging, the correct course of action is to dispose of it quickly and safely, to prevent infection.
- Sharp blades made from stainless steel or carbon steel to reduce tissue trauma, risk of infection, and;
- Sharpness of blades allows for clean, precise cuts;
- Pre-sterilized by gamma radiation is extremely effective, and allows for immediate use;
- Easily disposed of. Disposability reduces chance of infection and blade sharpness is always available, as a new blade is being used for every procedure;
- Packs of 10 decrease packaging waste;
- Size increment in the range of blades means there is a plethora of sizes to choose from depending on the requirements of the operation;
- Medical practitioner utilizing the surgical blade does not need to be concerned about sanitation, due to the one time use of each blade;
- Relatively inexpensive.
- It is of utmost importance that blades are not reused. The disposable blades are not designed to be re-used. Re-using blades can result in infections being transmitted between patients or between health practitioner and patient;
- Must prepare the blade for use in a clean, sterile environment, absent of bodily fluids or other sources of contamination;
- Great precaution must be taken as to not touch the blade with hands or other potentially contaminated surfaces;
- Promptly and safely dispose of any blades that have touched a potentially contaminated surface;
- Take extreme care when handling scalpel, as they are sharp and dangerous if misused;
- Care must be taken when selecting the correct blade size – every patient requires a specific size.
Surgical blades are made from high-grade stainless steel or carbon steel, which is an optimal material for clean, precise incisions in the skin. It is important the material is of optimal quality to ensure ease of operation for the physician.
Both blades are efficient, durable and effective in surgical procedures, and therefore selection of which material is ultimately up to personal preference.