The pre-disinfection phase of used items is essential to minimise the proliferation of germs, to reduce, as much as possible, the risk of cross-infections for the operator and to ensure the success of the subsequent reprocessing phases.
Handling used/contaminated items poses a high risk of infection, so wearing personal protective equipment is of the utmost importance. Learn more about the risk of cross-contamination and the chain of infection.
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Proper and accurate cleaning is essential to ensure that all visible dirt is removed from the instruments. It is also crucial for the success of the subsequent phases – disinfection and sterilization above all.
Cleaning is the most crucial step in the reprocessing process. Learn here about the basic principle and other facts.
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The disinfection phase is essential to consistently reduce the bacterial load, as well as any risks of cross-infection, and to favour the subsequent sterilization phase.
The purpose of disinfection is to reduce disease-causing germs in such a way that any potential infection chain can be broken, and the germ count is kept as low as possible.
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A careful inspection, maintenance, and testing of all cleaned and disinfected items gives proof of their functionality and guarantees a long service life. Moreover, the risk of infection – both for you and for your patients – is minimised thanks to the identification of damaged or soiled items.
The cleaning, disinfection, drying, and function of instruments must be checked carefully. Any deposits such as lime-scale or organic matter such as blood and proteins can impair the sterilization and cause further risks of infection.
Instruments and devices that are damaged or corroded also pose a risk of infection for both you and your patients.
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Packaging system’s goal is to ensure long-term and full sterility at the point of use of the items. The packaging must consist of a microbial barrier and protective packaging.
Only perfectly sealed pouches will preserve the sterility of their contents. Labelling makes it possible to link instruments to their sterilization cycle and patient file.
The reference standard for packaging is EN ISO 11607.
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Sterilization guarantees the elimination of germs, including spores that cause infection. All instruments must be sterilized to ensure they are sterile at the point of use.
The purpose of continual germ reduction at each stage of the reprocessing procedure, right through to sterile reusable products, is to reduce the microbial population to the Sterility Assurance Level of 10-6, i.e. a 6 log reduction. In other words, to achieve a probability of 1 non-sterile item in a million.
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Choosing the correct storage location ensures the maintenance of sterile conditions. Keep packed items in dry and dust-free conditions so that they are ready and safe for usage at all times.
The loss of sterility essentially depends on the external influences present during storage, handling, and transportation. When it comes to determining the possible storage duration, the storage conditions themselves are crucial.
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