The Basic Principles for Disinfection of Medical Devices

Apr 2nd 2014 at 4:21 AM

Sterilization of medical devices is highly important to prevent the spreading of diseases. There are a few principles that should be followed to conduct proper sterilization.

· Sterilization is the process of removing potentially harmful organisms from reusable medical equipment. Medical staff should be highly trained and knowledgeable about the scientific principles behind sterilization and disinfection.

· It is important to clean the instrument right after usage to prevent the drying of organic material on the instruments.

· Disinfection refers to cleaning of equipments by immersing it into a germicide liquid. There are three levels of disinfection:

High level disinfection - it kills all the organisms.

Intermediate disinfection - it kills mycobacteria, bacteria, and most viruses.

Low level disinfection - it kills some bacteria and viruses.

· Generally, every reusable medical device should be properly disinfected before use.

· Heat stable instruments should be reprocessed with heating methods of sterilizations such as steam autoclave or dry heat oven.

· Steam is the most commonly used and the oldest method of sterilization in medical field. Steam coagulates and denatures the cell proteins which results in kill the microorganism. Since there is very high temperature and moisture used in steam sterilization, it can only be used for instruments that are compatible with heat and moisture.

· Sharp instruments like reusable needles, burrs, dental instrument, that may get damaged by moisture are also sterilized with dry heat.

· Instruments should be thoroughly cleaned to minimize bio-burden (soil) before immersing into germicide liquid.

· When applying liquid chemical sterilization, thoroughly follow the process instructed by the chemical manufacturer.

· The protocol for disassembly, sorting and soaking, physical removal of organic material, rinsing, drying, physical inspection and wrapping should be written in a prominent place for compliance.

· It is also necessary to disinfect medical waste before disposing it to ensure that no diseases spread from it.

Medical environments are always kept sterile to limit the transmission of organisms in reusable medical equipment. The standards of sterilization are similarly applicable and critical for infection control. Every medical setting such as acute care hospital, outpatient facility, ambulatory surgical centre, physician’s or dentist’s clinic should strictly follow the standards of sterilization.

Gibraltar laboratories provide excellent services to make sure that the medical facility has a completely sterile environment. Browse through our website to find out more.

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