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June 2007  
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Infection Control
Healthcare Life

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Home - Infection Control - Article

Emerging Trends in Infection Control

It is important to emphasise that disinfection be carried out by a dedicated team of trained personnel, says Dr Gauri Bhatia

As a sterile service provider in the hospital, I will be more focused on infection control as it applies to prevention of hospital acquired infections (HAI) through right methods of re-processing the patient care reusable supplies. First of all, it is very important to mention that central sterile supply department (a centralised facility which collects, cleans, inspects, packs, sterilises, along with carrying out all the recommended quality controls, stores and distributes sterile supplies to the point of use after imparting required training to users) is mandatory in hospitals for controlling infection and still more important is its planning, location, lay-out, equipment selection, working and logistics about collection of used supplies and distribution of sterile supplies.

Also vital is training users about the importance of keeping the surgical instruments clean by rinsing immediately after use so that microorganisms do not multiply. Here, importance must be given to washer disinfector, where disinfection is achieved with the help of steam after cleaning the adhered debris on used articles. Below given are some important steps to adhere to:

  • Following standard precautions while handling used supplies.
  • Following recommended methods for decontamination and cleaning.
  • Proper inspection for cleanliness, functionality and arrangement to facilitate sterilisation.
  • Proper packaging in wrappers to facilitate sterlisation.
  • Following recommended methods of sterilisation supported by indicators records validation process.
  • Proper storage and transport to point of use.
  • Training users in inspecting the sterile pack prior to use and aseptic handling.
  • In adition to above mentioned practices, it is equally or rather more important to emphasise that disinfection be carried out by a dedicated team of trained personnel.
  • Know about level of dis-infection needed i.e. low, medium or high (as per Spaulding classification).
  • Always buy easily dismantalable items and insist on obtaining reprocessing guidelines from the manufacturer and if need be, even impart training about its use, operation, handling and storage.
  • Following recommended guidelines from manufacturer of items.
  • Use compatible disinfectant following disinfectant manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Make sure that no traces are left behind in case of chemical disinfectants.
  • Follow quality assurance guidelines.
  • Take all precautions to prevent post processing contamination.
  • Maintain required records and above all have standard operating instructions written down and monitor adherence.

All this goes a long way in leading us towards providing infection-free and safe patient care in today’s time of high-tech procedures and emerging strains of more and more resistant bugs.

The writer is CSSD Manager, Lilavati Hospital,Mumbai and President,Hospital Sterile Services Association
Email: labcare@rediffmail.com


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