They are 'straight' or 'curve' (in shape), metal or plastic, disposable or reusable instruments used for depressing the tongue to examine the throat and oral cavity. They are also used for spatula test in case of suspected tetanus, to examine the gag reflex and to perform posterior rhinoscopy.
The metal ones are sterilized by cleaning with soap and water and then boiling/ autoclaving. The plastic ones are cleaned with soap and water and sterilized with chemical disinfection or gas sterilization. The disposable ones come in a pre-sterile pack and are discarded after one time use.
Pediatric Oncall Journal
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