Sterilization and patient safety
Sterilization and patient safety:
Sterilization describes a process that destroys or eliminates all forms of microbial life and is carried out in health-care facilities by physical or chemical methods. Sterilization refers to the use of a physical or chemical procedure to destroy all forms of microorganisms, including the highly resistant spores.
Our office uses state of the art sterilization to ensure patient safety. Sterilization and disinfection are the basic steps in instrument processing and surface asepsis. We use Rapid Steam Autoclave at 275ºF for 45 minutes.
First, the instruments are prepared for the sterilization process. Patient debris and fluids are removed by placing the instruments in 3.2% glutaraldehyde for 40 minutes. Following this pre-disinfection step the instruments are transferred to an ultrasonic cleaner for another 15 minutes. Then the instruments are rinsed, dried, placed in self sealing sterilization pouches and sterilized in the autoclave. Instruments which cannot be heat sterilized, are immersed in 2% glutaraldehyde for 10 hours to cold sterilize.
We biologically monitor our sterilizer once a week to ensure complete sterilization using spore strips and keep accurate records for our monitoring. These strips are enclosed in a glassine envelope and processed through the sterilizer. They are then sent to our spore testing center where they are tested for live spores.
We use sterilization pouches that have special marking that change color when subjected to sterilizing temperatures.
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