How To Sterilize Or Disinfect Hospital Equipment
There are so many ways you can sterilize or disinfect hospital equipment. Now a patient in the hospital can acquire an infection in the hospital maybe by coming in contact with infected equipment or coming in contact with other patients,nurse or the doctor who have been infected in one way or the other. This is known as cross-infection.
Disinfection and sterilization of hospital equipment are very important and necessary to treat the following:
- The people that have been in contact with maybe a patient that is infected or suffering from a communicable disease.
- People that have been in contact with infected discharge such as liquid or pus from an injury.
- People who have been contaminated by urine or excreta
- People who by mistake came in contact with hospital equipment that have been prepared to be used in carrying out aseptic procedure.
WHAT IS ASEPSIS AND ASEPTIC TECHNIQUE
ASEPSIS: This simply means the state at which one is free from micro organisms
ASEPTIC TECHNIQUE: This is a method used to carry out surgical dressings and also an operative treatment that aids preventing the entering of micro-organisms into the wound. Note that all the hospital equipment that were used in carrying out any surgical operation must be sterile after use so that they can be free from micro-organisms.
WHAT IS BACTERIOSTATIC AGENT OR ANTISEPTIC
This is known as a substance or substances which usually are chemical substances that inhibits or stops the growth,replicating,multiplication of micro-organisms. This agent is able and capable of destroying the micro-organisms. Though their activity cannot be accurately gauged and also not considered to be suitable agents for hospital use, but they have drying power.
In sterilization, Heat is one of the major physical sterilizing agents that plays an important role in drying the hospital equipment. There are two types of heat that are used in drying hospital equipment; they are:
- Moist heat
- Dry heat
This method or heat is widely used in the hospitals.
WAYS TO STERILIZE HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT
Like i said earlier that there are different ways you can sterilize the hospital equipment. You can use the sunlight, the wind and also heat as physical sterilizing agents.
HOT AIR OVEN: Using this method, the hospital equipment is being put into an enclosed oven or facility with heated air for sterilization. A thermometer is being attached to the enclosed oven in other to regulate and observe the temperature.
Hot air oven as a method of sterilizing hospital equipment can as well cause a damage on any of the equipment produced with rubber, plastic or textile. Hot air oven is known for its effectiveness when using it to sterilize glass syringes. In a hospital central syringe sterilization unit, which is where all the syringes used or supplied to the whole hospital is being supplied from, the hot air oven is the method of sterilization used.
You can prevent the sterilized syringes from being infected or contaminated by using a tin foil to seal them once they are being removed from the oven.
INCINERATION OR BURNING: In this case, the hospital equipment is burnt to make sure that infections are not being transmitted. For example infected bandages, tooth brushes, sanitary pads etc.
BOILING: In this method of sterilization, the hospital equipment which is to be sterilized is being immersed into boiling water for about 5 minutes; which with immediate effect kills the micro-organisms on the hospital equipment.
Now you can as well decide to add washing soda (sodium carbonate) into the water. The essence of adding sodium carbonate (washing soda) into water is to prevent those hospital equipment that are made of metals from rusting after sterilization.
Remember that when you add sodium carbonate to the water, it will make the water to boil in temperature higher than the plain water.