A positive response is demonstrated by the appearance of cloudy (turbid) growth, medium, colony-forming units, a color change, or fluorescence. a positive Bi indicates a possible sterilization process failure. All products processed since the last negative BI should be recalled. An investigation must take place to determine which condition(s) caused the failure before the sterilizer can be used and the load either released for use or reprocessed. Retesting of the sterilizer is required if any sterilizer repairs occur. Sterilization records for all sterilizers are maintained for each cycle for the time indicated by the state’s statute of limitations. Recordkeeping includes results of daily function tests, results of biological monitoring, autoclave charts and graphs, and records indicating load contents and load control numbers.
22 23 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Policies and procedures establish authority, responsibility, and accountability, and serve as operational guidelines. Personnel must follow manufacturers’ written instructions for the operation and maintenance of sterilization equipment, as well as for creating an awareness of the hazards that different sterilants may pose to patients, coworkers, and the environment. These policies and procedures should pertain to the following: • decontamination, terminal sterilization, and cleaning of all reusable items and the disposal of disposable items; • packaging and labeling of items; • loading and unloading all sterilizers; • operation of the sterilizers; • monitoring and maintenance of sterilization cycle records; • preventive maintenance of equipment; • transportation and storage of sterile items; • handling of sterile items; and • tracking and recall of items deemed unsafe for use. SUMMARY Creating and maintaining a sterile environment before and during the surgical procedure reduces the patient’s risk of acquiring a postoperative infection. The most important measure in preventing postoperative infection is the flawless application of aseptic technique principles. It is important that everyone understands his or her role in reducing the risk of infection to the patient. Prevention of infection begins in the central supply department with the decontamination, assembly, preparation, and sterilization of surgical items and continues with the surgical team as they monitor the implementation of aseptic practices in the operating suite. To help avoid an event that may compromise package content sterility, the following recommendations should be followed: • Storage areas must be kept clean and free of dust, lint, dirt, and vermin. Routine cleaning procedures must be followed for all areas. • All sterile items should be stored under conditions that protect them from extremes of temperature and humidity. Prolonged storage in a warm environment at high humidity can cause moisture to condense inside packages and thus destroy the microbial barrier of some packaging materials.
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- Fall '19
- Dry heat sterilization, EO Sterilization, Peracetic Acid Sterilization