The way in which a surgical blade is handled prior to use can determine how effectively it performs during use. There are a number of ways that the cutting edge of a blade can become damaged once removed from its protective foil packet:
- When removing a blade from the protective packet make sure it is not dropped into a metal bowl or container as this can reduce the initial keenness of the cutting edge even before it is fitted to the handle;
- If you have to use forceps or needle holders to remove the blade from its protective packet ensure that you do not grip the blade across the cutting edge.
To Attach A Surgical Blade:
Use the following procedure to attach a surgical blade:
- Grip blade with forceps, or similar, avoiding contact with cutting edge.
- Hold handle in left hand with bayonet fitting uppermost.
- Place blade partway over handle fitting and engage slots.
- Slide blade until it clicks into position.
- To improve assembly, flex blade slightly upwards when sliding onto the handle.
To Remove A Surgical Blade:
Use the following procedure to detach a surgical blade:
- Grip blade with forceps or needle holders at point A making sure that the cutting edge is facing away from hand and body.
- Ensure the blade is pointing downwards and towards the trolley and NOT towards another member of your team.
- Whilst holding the handle firmly lift the back edge of the blade with the forceps or needle holders and slide away the handle.
- The preferred method would be a Swann-Morton blade remover device.