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Isolation Technique

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frequent hand washing and proper linen-handling procedures. HAND WASHING.—The following are some common instances when provider hand washing is imperative:  Before and after each patient contact  Before handling food and medications  After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose  After using the toilet LINEN HANDLING.—Improper handling of linen results in the transfer of pathogenic organisms through direct contact with the healthcare provider’s clothing and subsequent contact with the patient, patient-care items, or other materials in the care environment. Proper linen handling is such an elementary procedure that, in theory, it seems almost unnecessary to mention. However, it is a procedure so frequently ignored that emphasis is justified. All linen, whether clean or used, must never be held against one’s clothing or placed on the floor. The floors of a healthcare facility are considered to be grossly contaminated, and, thus, any article coming in contact with the floor will also be contaminated. Place all dirty linen in appropriate laundry bags. Linen from patients having infectious or communicable diseases must be handled in a special manner. Isolation Technique Isolation technique, a medical aseptic practice, inhibits the spread and transfer of pathogenic organisms by limiting the contacts of the patient and creating some kind of physical barrier between the patient and others. Isolation precautions in hospitals must meet the following objectives. They must  be epidemiologically sound;  recognize the importance that body fluids, secretions, and excretions may have in the transmission of nosocomial (hospital originating) pathogens;  contain adequate precautions for infections transmitted by airborne droplets and other routes of transmission; and  be as simple and as patient friendly as possible. In isolation techniques, disinfection procedures are employed to control contaminated items and areas. For purposes of this discussion, disinfection is described as the killing of certain infectious (pathogenic) agents outside the body by a physical or chemical means. Isolation techniques employ two kinds of disinfection practices, concurrent and terminal. CONCURRENT DISINFECTION.— Con- current disinfection consists of the daily measures taken to control the spread of pathogenic organisms while the patient is still considered infectious. TERMINAL DISINFECTION.—Terminal disinfection consists of those measures taken to destroy pathogenic organisms remaining after the patient is discharged from isolation. There are a variety of chemical and physical means used to disinfect supplies, equipment, and environmental areas, and each facility will determine its own protocols based on the recommendation of an Infection Control Committee. SURGICAL ASEPTIC TECHNIQUE LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recall the principles and guidelines for surgical aseptic technique, and determine the correct sterilization process for different types of materials. As used in this discussion, surgical aseptic technique is the term used to describe the sterilization, storage, and handling of articles to keep them free of pathogenic organisms. The following discussion will address the preparation and sterilization of surgical equipment and supplies, and the preparation of the operating room for performing a surgical procedure. It should be noted that specific methods of preparation will vary from place to place, but the basic principles of surgical aseptic technique will remain the same. This discussion will present general guidelines, and individual providers are advised to refer to local instructions regarding the particular routines of a specific facility. Before an operation, it is necessary to sterilize and keep sterile all instruments, materials, and supplies that come in contact with the surgical site. Every item handled by the surgeon and the surgeon’s assistants must be sterile. The patient’s skin and the hands of the members of the surgical team must be thoroughly scrubbed, prepared, and kept as aseptic as possible. 2-30



   


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