Sterilising and disinfecting medical equipment is of utmost importance for the healthcare industry. Thousands of patients die every year or are infected with a disease because medical equipment was not properly sterilised. Complications surface in many surgeries due to improper sterilisation. Detailed below are three of the most effective ways to sterilisation medical equipment.
The table below shows how ECHO International Health Services, decontaminate their hospital instruments:
Every member of the health team is responsible for carrying out cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation procedures. For reasons of safety, staff responsible for cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation should:
- Wash their hands with soap and water
- Be aware of the risks of contamination
- Wear thick, protective gloves
- Be particularly careful when handling sharps and sharp instruments
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
Cleaning is the process of removing visible material such as dirt, grease, blood and body fluids, and reducing the number of infectious micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores). Disinfection and sterilisation methods only work properly if items have been thoroughly cleaned and dirt, grease, and organic matter such as mucus, tissue, blood and other body fluids have been removed.
“It is the process of removing microorganisms or reducing the number to levels that are no longer harmful. Disinfection kills viruses, fungi, bacteria but not spores such as tetanus.” – ECHO report
Therefore, disinfection is safe for items that are used for some purposes but not for those where all organisms must be destroyed.
The two main disinfection methods are boiling and chemical disinfection. It is important to remember that chemical disinfectants are not suitable for use with needles and syringes, because traces of chemicals can be toxic, cause irritation and in-activate vaccines.
Sterilisation is the process of destroying or removing all forms of living organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. Carrying out sterilisation is not easy. It requires proper equipment and staff who are trained to use the equipment correctly and to follow procedures.
We will be unpacking the NSQHS 3 standards with the following speakers:
- Sue Atkins
Regional Infection Control Consultant, Department of Health & Human Services
- Paul Griffin
Director of Infectious Diseases, Mater Health Services
- Elizabeth Orr
Infection Control Consultant, Royal Melbourne Hospital
These speakers will be sharing their expertise on:
- Developing and strengthening existing governance arrangements
- Unpacking compliance with policies, procedures & protocols
- Strategising to engage staff and utilise skills in infection control
Don’t miss this information-packed session at the upcoming 5th Annual Infection Prevention and Control Conference held on the 9th April 2019 in Melbourne.
Click Here for FAQ’s about the conference.