The usual approach for selection of samples would be to test instruments grouped into "families". For example, families could be determined as follows:
- Simple one piece instruments (e.g. dissecting forceps)
- Jointed instruments (e.g. needleholders)
- Complex instruments (e.g. cusco)
- Laryngeal masks
One example from each family would be sent to the laboratory on a regular basis for bioburden testing post wash-disinfect but pre-sterilisation. The bioburden levels for each product should be consistent. This would prove that the cleaning process is in control and that routine sterilisation should be effective.