What's In Your Peel Pack?


The first job I ever had was as a “sacker” at Gerland’s Food Fair in Deer Park, Texas. I was probably 12 years old and took a lot of pride in how I bagged groceries that came down the checkout conveyor. Back then, we used large paper bags that were folded. My job was to open the bag and place the groceries into it as orderly and as carefully as possible.


I made sure the bag was filled perfectly square and the contents secure. Heaven forbid you place a carton of eggs or a loaf of bread at the bottom, then something heavier on top of it. Or you toss in random items that move around and break the bag when being carried. The customer would get home with cracked eggs and crushed bread.


Who bags your groceries? I’m obviously referring to the person who places your instruments into peel packs. Do they take pride in creating a pack that protects its contents and the sterile barrier?


The sterilized package will undergo multiple touchpoints after it leaves the sterilizer and is at risk of being crumpled and crushed. It can find itself under other packages. The instrument may move around and jeopardize seal integrity. Ultimately, it may be grabbed for use, only to find the package and sterility has been compromised.


Sterilization cards/Instrument protectors add structure to the pack and protects the pack from crushing/creasing. It protects the contents from moving around and protects the integrity of the seals and sterile barrier.


Failure to use sterilization cards/instrument protectors when peel packing instruments may result in more than just broken eggs or crushed bread. You may end up with a contaminated instrument being used on a patient.


Take pride in your peel packs!