Type of Surface Change
Stress-crack corrosion, e.g. in polysulphone, leads to visible cracks or fractures.
Origin & Causes
Stress cracks tend to occur in those areas of a medical device in which increased "built-in" (internal) stresses are present for manufacturing reasons. Under specific instrument processing conditions (e.g. insufficient rinsing, high temperatures, presence of certain surface-active chemicals), cracks tend to develop in these areas.
None (correction impossible).
Adequate tempering as part of the manufacturing process can minimize internal stress (e.g. in polysulphone products). The manufacturer's cleaning/preparation-for-reuse instructions should always be observed.
Affected instruments should be withdrawn from service (and the instrument processing cycle) at once for reasons of patient and user safety!