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Patient Transfer/Opening Surgical Packs

Chapter 2: Table of Contents

Opening a Surgical Pack

Ensure that you are wearing a hat and mask and have removed your lab coat prior to entering the surgical suite. Once in the surgical suite, position the patient for the scheduled procedure. Then gather all required materials and begin to open your surgical packs. At OVC, instrument packs are double wrapped with paper. Remove the sterility marker tape and begin opening the pack. Remember never to cross your arms over the pack. Move around the table or switch hands while opening a pack in your hands to prevent contamination. Always handle the edges of the pack to prevent contamination of the pack. Some private practices may use cloth wraps, which have differently coloured edges to clearly mark areas that have been contaminated during handling. When opening a pack in your hands, remember to gather the open cloth or paper prior to dropping the item on your sterile surgical surface to prevent contamination of that field by edges that have been touched. Open blades, suture packs and extra instruments at the edge of the instrument table and far enough away from the table to prevent contamination should part of the pack slip from your hands.

For some irregularly shaped/delicate items that cannot be easily “dropped” onto the sterile instrument table (e.g Balfour retractors, suction lines, laparoscopic equipment), an unsterile assistant will unwrap the instruments for the surgeon to grasp and safely place on the instrument table.

Review all steps (patient prep, open gown pack, gloves, instrument pack, suture, blades, extra instruments such as spay hook, etc.) to ensure you have everything ready before scrubbing your hands

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