Use of Aseptic Techniques At Hospitals and At Home

At present, there is no method to safely eliminate all of a patient’s contaminants without causing significant tissue damage. Asepsis is the state of being free from disease-causing micro-organisms (such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses, pathogenic fungi, and parasites).

The term often refers to those practices used to promote or induce asepsis in an operative field of surgery or medicine to prevent infection . The goal of asepsis is to eliminate infection, not to achieve sterility. Ideally, a surgical field is sterile, meaning it is free of all biological contaminants (e.g. fungi, bacteria, viruses), not just those that can cause disease, putrefaction , or fermentation.

Why Aseptic Techniques Are Important

An aseptic technique is one of the many educational programs people in the health care system are required to undergo as part of their vocational training. If you do not yet realize how crucial to have this type of training is, read below for a few reasons, why it is important for an aseptic technique.

  • Observing aseptic techniques are employed in order to prevent the spread of certain microorganisms, which have the potential to cause serious illnesses.
  • Preventing an ailment is always easier than actually treating a disease.
  • The cost of treatment of diseases also takes a toll on the medical system and the economy, which is another reason why aseptic measures are of utmost importance.

Various forms of Aseptic Techniques

The following are the various forms of aseptic technique :

Disinfection

Destruction of infectious agent is termed as disinfection and the agents which are used to destroy these agents are called as disinfectants or germicides. Terminal disinfection is carried out at the termination of illness and after the patient has left the sick room. Concurrent disinfection is applied at the bed side of the patient during the course of illness of patient.

Sterilization

It means the destruction of living organisms of all types. Its various methods include:

  • Heat (electrical or gas heat) – contaminated material subjected to boiling water for a few minutes destroy all pathogenic organisms except the spore bearing organisms or the viruses of infectious hepatitis, which are, however destroyed by steam.
  • Current steam – here the stream is generated at ordinary atmospheric pressure (at temperature of 100°C) and is allowed to escape.
  • Saturated steam – here, steam is generated by boiling water in closed vessel, and steam accumulates under pressure.
  • Superheated steam – If steam is heated without raising the pressure, the temperature of steam is highly raised; it is called superheated steam. It may also be generated by boiling saline solution which boils at higher temperature than ordinary water.

Chemical treatment

various types of chemicals are used for asepsis including bacteriostatic agents (antiseptics) which inhibit the growth of various microorganisms.

Aspectic Techniques Practiced in the Hospital

Specific situations outside of the operating room require a strict application of aseptic technique. Some of these situations include respiratory suction. For example, a surgical dressing change at the bedside, though in a much less controlled environment than the operating room, will still involve thorough handwashing, use of gloves and other protective garb, creation of a sterile field, opening and introducing packages and fluids in such a way as to avoid contamination.

Aseptic techniques range from simple practices, such as using alcohol to sterilize the skin, to full surgical asepsis, which involves the use of sterile gowns, gloves, and masks.

Healthcare professionals use aseptic technique practices in hospitals, surgery rooms, outpatient care clinics, and other healthcare settings. Using aseptic technique prevents the spread of infection by harmful germs. Healthcare professionals use aseptic technique when they are:

  • performing surgical procedures.
  • performing biopsies.
  • dressing surgical wounds or burns suturing wounds.
  • inserting a urinary catheter, wound drain, intravenous line, or chest tube
  • administering injections.
  • using instruments to conduct a vaginal examination.
  • delivering babies
  • wound care.
  • drain removal and drain care

Aseptic Technique Practiced at Home

While your home isn’t likely a surgery center, there may be a time when you or a loved one need aseptic technique. For example, you may need to change a dressing on a wound, and that requires a sterile dressing.

Proper aseptic techniques require training. Before you need to change the dressing at home, a healthcare specialist should demonstrate the techniques and have you practice them. To change a sterile dressing, a person needs sterile gloves and a special dressing change kit or supplies.

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