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What is Asepsis? Classifying the forms of asepsis

Asepsis is a term commonly used in the medical field. So what exactly is asepsis? How are the forms of asepsis classified? Let’s find out with INTECH Group in the following article!

1. What is asepsis? Purpose and application of asepsis in the medical field

Asepsis (sterility) is the state of being free from pathogenic microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites). This term often refers to practices used to promote or induce sterility in a surgical setting or in medicine to prevent infection.

The primary purpose of asepsis in healthcare is to prevent and control the spread of bacteria and other pathogens to ensure the safety of patients, caregivers, and healthcare workers. It is applied in aseptic surgical rooms, aseptic patient care rooms, the production and storage of sterile medications, and infection control during diagnosis and treatment.

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Classifying the forms of asepsis

There are two common forms of asepsis: medical asepsis and surgical asepsis.

Medical asepsis

2.1.1. What is medical asepsis?

Medical asepsis involves cleaning, hygiene, and using necessary measures to minimize the number of microorganisms present on an object or in an area, along with controlling the spread of pathogens. Examples include handwashing, wearing clean gloves, wearing gowns, and laundering.

2.1.2. Purpose of medical asepsis

To reduce direct or indirect transmission of microorganisms from one person to another, or from one area to another.

To decrease the number of pathogenic bacteria, increasing safety for human living environments.

To enhance the body’s immune response.

2.1.3. Measures applied in medical asepsis

Handwashing

Before and after patient care.

Before and after performing procedures or techniques on patients.

Before entering and after leaving a patient’s room.

After touching contaminated objects.

After removing gloves.

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Providing containers for patients to contain secretions and waste (sputum, urine, feces).

Covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent saliva from splattering.

Avoiding shared use of objects by patients.

Avoiding dust when cleaning.

Cleaning floors and walls.

Keeping clean items away from dirty items.

Patient rooms should be ventilated to allow air circulation.

Applying isolation measures for infected patients.

2.2. Surgical asepsis

2.2.1. What is surgical asepsis?

Surgical asepsis is a state in which an area or object is entirely free from bacteria, including spores.

2.2.2. Purpose of surgical asepsis

Surgical asepsis is applied in procedures where instruments:

Penetrate the skin (injections, punctures, probing).

Penetrate or contact sterile areas (catheterization).

Contact non-intact skin or mucous membranes (such as wounds, surgeries, childbirth).

2.2.3. Measures applied in surgical asepsis

Using sterile instruments or wearing sterile gloves to handle sterile objects.

Not extending hands into sterile areas.

Avoiding talking, coughing, or sneezing into sterile areas.

When passing through sterile areas, avoid turning backs toward sterile areas.

Wet sterile objects are considered non-sterile.

Sterile instrument trays must be kept dry (not soaked in solution).

Opening sterile packages away from the body, avoiding contact with clothing.

The area below the waist is not considered sterile.

Once items are removed from a sterile field, they should not be returned.

If the sterility of an item is in doubt, it should be considered non-sterile.

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3.Common aseptic principles according to recommendations from the Ministry of Health

Do not directly use hands to touch sterile objects (must use instruments like forceps and wear gloves).

Always face directly, do not turn back towards sterile areas when passing through sterile areas.

Maintain orderliness, do not cough, sneeze, or put hands to the face in sterile areas.

Sterilized instruments should not be stored in damp places or soaked in solution.

With medical tools such as forceps, scalpels, clamps,…, after sterilization, they must always be placed on the waist and not placed upside down, especially when the forceps have been immersed in a solution.

When opening sterile packages, hold the package away and open it towards the person performing the task.

When opening the lid of a sterile box, if held in hand, it should be placed upside down, if placed on the table, it should be placed facing up, avoiding touching clothing.

Once an item is sterile and removed from the box, it should never touch anything else.

After a sterile item is removed from the box, it should not be returned to the container.

4. Distinguishing asepsis and cleanliness in healthcare

Asepsis Cleanliness in healthcare

Main purpose: Both tasks are closely related. They help patients minimize the risk of infection, especially from wounds on the body.

Asepsis focuses on preventing, eliminating the spread of infection from bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms to wounds or body tissues undergoing intervention.

Cleanliness in healthcare focuses on reducing the number of bacteria and residues while removing infectious agents to reduce the risk of infection for patients and healthcare workers.

Healthcare cleanliness is extremely important in aseptic techniques, as maintaining a clean and hygienic environment properly will help achieve asepsis.

It is used for those with low infection risk and can be performed at home or in other treatment facilities more easily…

Examples: using medical instruments inserted into the patient’s body, administering injections,…

Examples: wearing gloves, washing hands with disinfectant solutions regularly, checking and changing bandages for healing wounds for patients, cleaning and maintaining general hygiene for hospital rooms.

5. Important Requirements in Aseptic Techniques

5.1. Environmental Control

Physicians and healthcare workers must assess whether the environment around the patient ensures aseptic conditions and must always maintain these conditions before and during procedures.

To maintain an aseptic environment, it is necessary to keep doors closed when performing a surgical procedure. Only essential healthcare workers should be involved in this process. The fewer people involved, the less chance for harmful bacteria to cause contamination.

Some tasks include limiting movement, closing off the aseptic area, and allowing only one patient in the aseptic area at a time.

5.2. Establishment of Aseptic Barriers

These barriers prevent the transfer of bacteria and pathogens between the living environment and patients or healthcare workers.

Examples include gowns, protective covers for medical instruments, gloves, surgical masks, etc.

These items must not have come into contact with contaminated surfaces, and they should be specially packaged and cleaned. Healthcare workers should wear or use them in specific ways to minimize contact with bacteria.

5.3. Aseptic Preparation Procedures for Medical Equipment and Patients

Healthcare professionals are responsible for meticulously preparing medical equipment and patients for aseptic procedures before other procedures take place.

These procedures include several tasks such as disinfecting and protecting medical instruments from contamination before use, using disinfectant wipes to sterilize the patient’s skin, etc.

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5.4. Aseptic Instruction

Healthcare workers or physicians, after using aseptic barriers, must strictly adhere to instructions regarding aseptic contact. This means that individuals in the aseptic area must not come into contact with items or surfaces that have not been sterilized. The same applies to sterilized equipment.

If there is an incident where these items are damaged or fall onto the ground, healthcare workers must repeat all aseptic procedures before using them again.

The above are detailed information on aseptic techniques in the operating room. Aseptic techniques are a crucial requirement for operating rooms, but before proceeding with aseptic procedures, the operating room must meet standard requirements from design to construction. INTECH Group is confident as a provider of consulting, design, and construction services for clean rooms and operating rooms in hospitals with the best quality services, providing a reasonable and cost-effective solution for hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Contact us now to receive prompt assistance from our experienced experts!

 

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