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JCRS Publishes Guidelines for the Cleaning and Sterilization of Intraocular Surgical Instruments Developed by ASCRS-Led Task Force

Recently, the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery published specialty-specific guidelines for the sterile processing of ophthalmic surgical instruments. These guidelines, released on April 5, 2018 include evidence-based recommendations regarding issues that may be unique to the cleaning and sterilization of intraocular instrumentation.

The guidelines are the product of a three-year effort led by ASCRS, with input from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society (OOSS), through a task force chaired by David F. Chang, MD, and Nick Mamalis, MD, representing ASCRS. This important document provides ophthalmology-specific recommendations with the intent of helping our members to better understand, adopt, or defend certain well-established sterile processing practices. The study supports the safety of common short-cycle instrument processing practices for sequential same-day anterior segment surgery.

An additional issue addressed by the guidelines is the necessity of routinely using enzymatic detergent to clean ophthalmic instruments prior to sterilization if specified by the IFU. Previous studies have shown that enzymatic residues on intraocular instruments are a leading cause of toxic anterior segment syndrome (TASS), and the task force referenced new studies from the Moran Eye Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, that show the difficulty of eliminating microscopic enzyme residues, even with prompt, thorough rinsing while following the IFU.

If you need further information or have any questions, please contact Nancey McCann, director of government relations, at nmccann@ascrs.org or 703-591-2220.