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The way in which a surgical blade is handled prior to use can determine how effectively it performs during use. There are a number of ways that the cutting edge of a blade can become damaged once removed from its protective foil packet:
When removing a blade from the protective packet make sure it is not dropped into a metal bowl or container as this can reduce the initial keenness of the cutting edge even before it is fitted to the handle.
If you have to use forceps or needle holders to remove the blade from its protective packet ensure that you do not grip the blade across the cutting edge.
Use the following procedure to attach a surgical blade:
A. Grip blade with forceps, or similar, avoiding contact with cutting edge.
B. Hold handle in left hand with bayonet fitting uppermost.
C. Place blade partway over handle fitting and engage slots.
D. Slide blade until it clicks into position.
E. To improve assembly, flex blade slightly upwards when sliding onto the handle.
To remove a blade:
1. Grip blade with forceps, or similar.
2. Lift heel of blade at point 'A' with tip of finger, avoiding contact with cutting edge and carefully slide the blade away from the handle.