Overview of Medical Instrument
Medical instruments ranging all the way from thermometers to operation theatre equipment need to be used over and over again on different patients. If a medical probe, for instance, used on one infected patient is reused, without performing proper sterilization on it, on another patient, then the latter might contract infection upon coming in contact with the unsterilized equipment. As a matter of fact, the use of unsterilized equipment is one of the leading causes of death in many a patient.
A recently conducted survey revealed that not performing sterilization is not as much of a problem across all hospitals in India as is performing the sterilization process in an incorrect or incomplete manner. Thus, besides making use of the right sterilization equipment to perform disinfection, it is equally important to perform sterilization the right way.
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Here is a quick guide to help you perform sterilization and disinfection procedures of various kinds:
Before commencing with the autoclaving process, you must wrap all the instruments that are to be used for a particular type of medical procedure, within a common sterile packaging. You may then place the sterile, autoclave-proof packaging within the various trays inside the autoclave and let the steam, heat, and pressure work its magic on the unsterile equipment. Autoclave bags change colour upon completion of the sterilization process, indicating that the instruments were indeed completely sterilized.
Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize equipment that is sensitive to moisture and heat. To begin with, allow organisms to breed on all your plastic and heat-sensitive electrical devices by passing them through a pre- controlled heated and moist environment. Subsequently, allow the sterilizer process to perform the disinfection action on the equipment under critically controlled temperatures. Lastly, allow the remains of ethylene oxide to be completely cleared off of the equipment to make it safe for use on patients.
You could use dry heat to sterilize oil, petroleum and powder-based medical equipment. Moreover, you could also use this technique to successfully disinfect apparatus sensitive to moist conditions. Performed in an oven, the technique helps get rid of microorganisms by burning them down. The process entails two popular mechanisms of achieving sterilization—namely, the static air process and the forced air process. The former involves the use of coils that heat up slowly to reach sterilization-ambient temperatures; the latter employs the use of a motor which causes hot air to circulate inside the oven and is faster of the two.
You could use the non-ionizing radiation of microscopes to disinfect the surface of certain tools.
Plasma or vapor-based hydrogen peroxide can effectively sterilize your medical paraphernalia and ensure it is clean for further use.
The techniques discussed above are the most common ones used to perform total disinfection or medical apparatus. You must remember that sterilization is not just restricted to medical apparatus, sterilization of towels and doctor scrubs is equally important to prevent the transfer of infection.