STA Compact Syringe Maintenance

A brief tutorial on Syringe Maintenance for the STA Compact.

Transcription of STA Compact Syringe Maintenance

Welcome to BioMed Buddy. Today, we're going to discuss the syringe maintenance to the STA compact. One of the major pieces of maintenance that you perform on this unit is very easy to do, but by completing it, you'll help ensure that you get good accuracy and precision and good quality control. First, we're going to hit 'Escape', get the main bar up. Go over to 'Maintenance'. I could have hit a 'M'. Go to 'Maintenance'. Go to 'Syringe tip replacement'. Tip of syringe, of course. Tells you that they want to make sure that you have a syringe tip or a new syringe. Hit F10. Unit is going to go to 'Home', so the needles are all over the wash well. You can change the tip of the syringe according to the procedure described in the manual, which we are going to be doing here directly. When this operation is finished, validate it by pressing F10.

(Narrator moves toward the machine and unscrews the bottom neural knob on the bottom first, then the top, 1:36)

Now, we are going to go over to the syringe and remove the syringe from the unit. I'll loosen the neural knob down at the bottom. Just loosen the neural nut at the top, being careful not to break it or drop it. Now that it is removed, I can take it over to a bench and change my syringe tip.

(Camera pans toward a mat that is setup to chance the syringe tip, 2:08)

The syringe is one of the most important maintenance items that you can do to ensure you have proper quality control results and good precision. It is the number one thing that most field service engineers are going to look at when they come onto the site, to see what your percentage is. Again, number one problem for quality control or precision is the syringe. (Narrator shows syringe, 2:45) Now, the syringe is very reliable. It will last you for years. I disagree with replace of these once year. I have seen the syringes last 10, 12, 15 years on instruments, and the precision of the instrument is great, in fact. Now, there are a couple exceptions on how a syringe becomes defective, and we're
going to talk about them here.

Of course, obviously, if they're broken, they're bad. However, we're going to change the syringe tip. This is a syringe tip. We're also going to change the O-ring. First, let's start with the O-ring. You simply pull it off. (Narrator pulls off black O-ring toward the tip of syringe and replaces it, 3:39) Since it's a new O-ring, we're just going to put it right back on. Sometimes, you might need to use some wooden applicator or something if it's stuck on the bottom. For all practical purposes, it's as simple as that. Now, we're going to change the syringe tip. Pull the rod out. (Narrator removes rod from syringe, 4:04) There are three ways I'm going to tell you to change that tip the right way. Take your fingernail, put it underneath this tip. Pull. (Pulls at the white tip, 4:20) Very few people do that, and I am not going to do it that way. There is reasons why that is the best way. We'll discuss that.

Second way I've seen people do is they take hemostats. You can use hemostats to do it. I'll tell you, you need to be real careful because there's some damage that you can cause, which is why we're having this discussion. My way, I went to Lowe's and got these wire strippers, and they have little holes in them. So, hopefully, I avoid the problems with the hemostats. Of course, I use the biggest hole and try to grip it. I pull straight out and remove the tip. (Removes tip with wire strippers, 4:57) Now, I'll go clear out the rest of that little junk. Now, here's the problems, the issue with using hemostats and my tool, is the fact that there is a barb at the end of this rod. That barb is what keeps the syringe tip in place so that it does not come off inside the syringe. Without that barb, you're going to lose your syringe inside the tip. Thus, this rod scratches the inside of the syringe. Thus, you now have a bad syringe. For all practical purposes, that's the only way I see a syringe should go bad on you.

When I do preventive maintenance or whenever I change the syringe tip, I take my fingernail, and I go completely around this little barb to make sure that it's in tact. (Rolls finger nail around the barb on the tip of the rod, 5:49) I also check to see if that nipple has been bent, because that's what happens if you take hemostats. You have a tendency to bend the end of this rod here, and thus, you'll get an uneven wear of your syringe tip. I am going to hold up the scraper to see if you can see that, the change, that it is bent. (Shows bend in rod, 6:20) OK. Now, keep in mind that I would not put this back on like this. I'm going to continue to do my syringe maintenance. I'm going to take a tip. All I do is reverse it, right in the middle, hard surface, and push. (Pushes rod into new white tip, 6:41) My syringe tip is now in place. OK. Now that it is in place, you can probably see the bend that I'm talking about a little clearer. Now, again, this is a rod that I would throw out. I may keep the glass piece, but I would throw this rod out. I would not even try to fix it.

One of the next things to do before you put the new tip into your syringe is to saturate it with some water. (Pours water from bottle over white tip, 7:24) This is extremely important because that will give us some lubrication so that you don't use up the syringe, wear it out prematurely. I also fill the syringe. (Pours water into the syringe, 7:43) This is just my technique, and I've been doing it this way for too long. I try to fill it so that I have no air bubbles. I have not seen air bubbles become an issue. As soon it goes through its priming cycle, the air bubbles are taken out. (Places rod back inside the syringe, 7:57) But, this assures that I have water inside, so that I don't again prematurely wear out the syringe tip. There you go. I've now replaced the syringe tip.

(Camera pans back to machine, 8:15)

Now that we've completed that syringe maintenance, we're going to re-install it on the instrument. It's relatively simple to do. Take the syringe. Put it in position. Tighten the neural knob at the top. (Replaces syringe and tightens knobs, 8:40) Finger tight. It doesn't have to be over tightened. Shouldn't have to take a wrench to get it back off, not that that's ever happened. Here's where I think people make mistakes. I don't know that, but I think this. They go down, and they tighten the neural knob at the bottom. I am not going to do that. You're certainly welcome to, but what I believe happens is that when they tighten these down here, they actually tighten them, and I'm over-exaggerating it, at an angle. (Narrator demonstrates the incorrect way of replacing the syringe, 9:13) So, you got a thick spot here and a thick spot here. Then when it pushes the syringe up, it breaks it. That's the only reason I could imagine how a syringe breaks right there. Maybe it breaks because people change it turning the barrel. I do not know. Bottom line, replace it.

When you put the syringe back on, tighten the top. Leave this one loose, is what I would recommend. Then, hit your F10. (Camera pans toward computer and back to machine to show it operating and narrator tightening lower neural knob, 9:46) When the syringe is moving up and down, tighten the lower neural knob. That way, it's kind of letting it seat itself in the right position. Again, that does not have to be overly tight. Going back to the unit. We have now completed the syringe maintenance, so we essentially want to exit and return to the main screen. At this point, if you go to the status screen, go to the 'Systems', and you can see my syringe maintenance is now at 100%. (Narrator points toward lower right corner of the computer screen, 10:51) Thank you very much for attending this session with BioMed Buddy on syringe maintenance.