Monday morning is my weigh-in day. Sounds like a painful way to start the week, doesn't it? I am into my 50's now. One of the "skills" I seemed to have developed with age is the ability to gain weight. It is not a skill I want. To echo the lament of many - when I was younger it seemed like I could eat just about anything and not gain weight. Even into my 30's and 40's, if I gained weight, I could quickly lose it with a little dieting. For instance, one of my methods to lose weight was the "salad days of summer" when I would eat nothing but salads for a couple of weeks. But none of that works any more. At a family get-together over Memorial Day weekend, a couple of my wife's cousins were talking about the great success they had with theWeight Watchers program. Their success was obvious and their recount of the program very encouraging. I decided to try it. 5 weeks later, I am more than halfway to my goal, so the program seems to be working for me as well. Facing the scale Monday morning seems painful - but I must comply if I am going to know when I have reached my goal. In Sterile Processing, weight is also an issue - the weight of instrument sets. In 2006, AAMI adopted ST77, the "container document," and for the first time set a weight limit for an individual instrument tray: 25 lbs. For those in participating in the meetings, it was at times painful, as there was the inevitable clash between producers and users. In the end, compromise was found and safety carried the day. There are two major issues with the weight of instrument trays. The first is a worker safety issue - the heavier the set, the more likely the occurrence of injuries, as staff tries to lift and carry these heavy trays. The other is the efficacy of sterilization - the denser the load, the less likely that sterilization conditions will be achieved. Based upon science, regulatory guidance and common sense, 25 lbs was determined to be the maximum weight. As an FYI, this is a little heavier than elsewhere in the world, where 10 kilos (22 lbs) is the typical limit - but 25 lbs is pretty close and easy to remember. ST77 covers the instrument trays delivered by the device manufacturer, but what about the sets that your facility assembles? Are they under 25 lbs? Perhaps Monday should be tray weigh-in day? Unlike mine, this would be a Monday morning weigh-in that could prevent further pain.


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