Don’t let wrap be a monkey wrench in your surgery schedule

24 Mar
SteriTite containers can relieve the pressure of the wrap shortage

The current sterilization wrap supply shortage is concerning for many health systems and facilities. Originally designed in the 1990s as an alternative to wrapped trays, SteriTite® containers are now, in 2021, very much a part of the solution. After a significant drop in non-emergent surgeries throughout 2020, the backlog of demand is expected to push 2021 surgical volume up by 28% compared to 2019 pre-pandemic levels. This is no time for disruptions to the surgical schedule.

Fortunately, there are ways to strategically address this supply chain disruption while keeping the OR happy and productive. Check out these opportunities to containerize your highest priority instruments sets.

Where to start: Loaners

Some of the most challenging and wrap-intensive sets are those that walk through your front door 48 hours before a surgery—loaner sets. In particular, heavy ortho/spine sets use the largest volume of wrap and duplicate wrapped sets are common, as extra insurance against tears in wrap and surgical disruption. With more than half of instruments unused, just as a baseline, loaners are a perfect target to begin converting from wrap to rigid containers.


SteriTite® containers are DIN sized and originally designed for loaners sets. Our product specialists have decades of experience solving problems by helping you select the right assortment of containers for loaners and other procedure trays. With lost-lasting, quality construction, rivetless case assembly, and offset filter retention plates to prevent strikethrough and cross contamination, SteriTite containers can eliminate the double work of processing two wrapped sets of loaner instruments and even provide quicker turns.

Convert high-turn sets

You know just the sets, the ones that, as soon as they enter decontam, are fast-tracked to make sure they’re ready for the next surgery. Convert those sets to containers to eliminate wrapping, save time, and make sure these critical instruments are protected and secured. In fact, SteriTite containers, when used with our paper filters in steam sterilization cycles, are cleared for minimum 5 to 8 minute dry times. It’s true! Here are the details.

Reduced Dry Time Claim for Pre-Vacuum Steam Sterilization:
SteriTite® containers previously cleared for terminal and IUSS (flash) steam sterilization may be used for storage and transport after steam sterilization with a reduced dry time. Dry loads will be achieved using a minimum of 5 minutes dry time when using perforated bottom units and a minimum of 8 minutes dry time when using solid bottom units.

Insurance policy

In the spirit of being prepared, there is one more tip that you might find valuable. Did you know that we offer filter-less valves for steam sterilization cycles? FlashTite® Valve Plates are designed as an alternative option to the SteriTite filter assembly for IUSS steam sterilization. It’s smart and convenient to keep these on hand for those emergencies where IUSS is appropriate and wrap even less available.

We certainly hope that the wrap shortage is resolved soon without further disruption. We also hope that we’ve piqued your interest about the benefits of taking a staged approach to converting your surgical instrument sets to rigid reusable containers. I won’t even go into the potential cost savings, the positive environmental effects, or the many other benefits, though you can read more if you like. Think about the security of having fewer items on your list of concerns each day. And say goodbye to the monkey and its wrench.

Contact us at [email protected] to get started.


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