No WE DO NOT abide by the 5 second rule!! Let me get that out of the way. I got to thinking about this the other day when I dropped an instrument and a patient jokingly suggested I employ that rule to quickly pick it up and save Pam a few extra steps of taking off her gloves and having to open another sterile instrument kit. “5 second rule! No worries!”
So I googled up Snopes.com which I am told is never wrong and knows the truth about anything and everything. Nope – the 5 second rule is not valid. Turns out some high school student went and developed an experiment that shows that bacteria immediately stick to whatever it is you just dropped. Moms and dads out there – don’t tell your kids about this. I have been and will continue to flop those dropped hamburgers on buns and make sure one of the kids gets it. I don’t think this will change my modus operandi at home. But rest assured that everything that we put in a mouth is either sterilized or a single-use sterilized item. No 5 second rule applies here.
All instruments that we use are packed in stainless steel cassettes and placed in an ultra-sonic cleaner for a specific period of time. The cassettes are then dried and wrapped in a surgical packing material with a special tape that will register sterilization. They are then processed in an autoclave which sterilizes them by a steam heat method. The autoclaves are tested weekly to insure that they function properly. The cassettes are then stored for use and they come to you fresh out of the wrapper. Our infection control protocol is a major focus in what we do. We continually look at the methods we utilize and look for improvements. It is something that we just won’t fool around with. If you ever have any questions we would be happy to give you a tour of our sterilization room and show you how its done. Just ask!