Thursday, August 18, 2011

Keeping things Sterile

When one goes on duty at the Operating Room, the most important thing to remember is to maintain the sterility of the sterile field and the surgical team doing the procedure. This means adhering to the Principles of Asepsis by heart.

Asepsis  means absence of pathogenic organisms. Keeping things sterile means not giving a chance for infection to happen while patients undergo surgical operation. But to be able to do this, one has to understand the principles behind it.

It frustrates me when I see medical practitioners that don't understand this. My students always look up to others who work at the Operating Room for a long time. If those whom they look up does not adhere to the principles, the students will adopt such ways. And it's sad because it does not only put the patient prone to infection, it has deprived the minds of my aspiring students of what is essential and ideal to peri-operative nursing.

Principles of Asepsis

1.Only sterile items are used within sterile fields. All articles used in an operation have been sterilized previously.
 2.Persons who are sterile touch only sterile items/ areas; persons who are not sterile touch only unsterile items/ areas.
3.If in doubt about sterility of anything, consider it unsterile.
4.Nonsterile persons avoid reaching over a sterile field; sterile persons avoid leaning over unsterile area.
5.Tables are sterile only at table levels.
6.Gowns are considered sterile only from waist to shoulder level in front, and the sleeves.
7.The edge of anything that encloses sterile contents is unsterile.
8.Sterile persons keep well within sterile areas.
9.Nonsterile persons keep away from sterile areas.
10.Sterile field is created as close as possible to the time of use.
11.Sterile areas are continuously kept in view.
12.Destruction of integrity of microbial barriers results in contamination. Moisture can cause contamination.
13.When microorganisms cannot be eliminated, they must be kept to an irreducible minimum

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