STERILIZATION

STERILIZATION – Definition, Purpose, Scientific Principles, Methods of Sterilization

Sterilization in hospitals is one of the important processes in order for prevention of hospital acquired infections. Bacterial spores are the most resistant of all living organisms because of their capacity to withstand external destructive agents. Although the physical or chemical process by which all pathogenic and microorganisms, including spores, are destroyed is not absolute, supplies and equipment are considered sterile when necessary conditions have been met during a sterilization process

DEFINITION

  • Sterilization is the process by which an object becomes free of all the microorganisms. By sterilization, both the pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms are destroyed
  • Sterilization is a process by which the pathogenic as well as spores and viruses are destroyed
  • Sterilization is the process by which an article, a surface or a medium free from all microorganisms, both in vegetative and sporing states, by removing or killing them

PURPOSE

  • To render the supplies/articles free from pathogens
  • To make complete destruction of microorganism
  • To sterilize instruments and equipments used in the surgical practice
  • To keep the articles in such a condition that they are ready for use at any time
  • For the safety of the patients

SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES

  • Dust and dirt harbors microorganisms which adversely affect the well-being of patients and retards recovery
  • Proper care of articles prolong its life ensures their utility and provides a neat and finished appearance which promotes a feeling of comfort
  • Selection of appropriate simple methods of sterilization saves energy, time and material
  • Water is a universal solvent and so produces surface tension
  • Friction helps in removing dirt and microorganisms from surface
  • Unpleasant odor, sight and noise are disturbing to the patient

METHODS OF STERILIZATION

  • Natural method of sterilization: this method is used to sterilize contaminated linen and bedpans. Direct sunlight will have an effect on acid-fast microorganism. Place the linen or bedpans in direct sunlight for 6 hours for two consecutive days
  • Physical method of sterilization: heat kills all types of bacteria. Boiling is the most commonly used method, but spore forming bacteria and viruses are not killing by boiling
  • Chemical method of sterilization: it is also called as cold sterilization or disinfection by the disinfectants. A chemical disinfectant is used which acts by coagulating the bacterial protein or by changing the composition of protein so that is no longer exists in the same form
  • Radiation or ultraviolet light sterilization: this method is expensive. But nowadays, it is used for the sterilization of plastic items such as disposable saline sets, catheters, Ryle’s tubes, disposable syringes, etc
STERILIZATION IN THE HOSPITAL
CENTRAL STERILE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT (CSSD)
CHEMICAL DISINFECTANTS
RADIATION METHOD OF STERILIZATION
HOT AIR OVEN
AUTOCLAVING
PHYSICAL METHODS OF STERILIZATION
STERILIZATION - Definition, Purpose, Principles, Methods
STERILIZATION – Definition, Purpose, Principles, Methods

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