Decontamination and Sterilization

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Decontamination and Sterilization

A chemical agent used to inhibit the growth of microorgansms on skin and mucous membranes is a/an:

antiseptic

Antiseptics are chemical agents that are used to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on animate (living) objects.

The process of destroying microorganisms on inanimate (nonliving) objects is:

disinfection

Disinfection is the process of destroying microorganisms on inanimate (nonliving) objects.

The procedure for destroying pathogens at the end of the procedure is:

terminal sterilization

Terminal sterilization is the procedure for destroying pathogens at the end of the procedure to protect the health care worker from exposure to these pathogens.

The safest, most practical means for sterilizing heat- and moisture-stable items is:

saturated steam under pressure

Saturated steam under pressure is considered the safest, most practical method for sterilizing fabric, metal, and fluid - anything that is not damaged by heat or moisture.

The minimal temperature required to kill bacterial spores is:

250 degrees F (121 degrees C)

The Bowie-Dick test must be run daily in what type of sterilizer?

prevacuum

The Bowie-Dick test must be run daily in the pre-vacuum sterilizer to assure complette removal of air. Air and steam cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and sterilization cannot occur if air is present.

Aeration is essential for sterilization by:

ethylene oxide gas

Ethylene oxide is a toxic gas that requires removal(aeration) prior to use of articles sterilized by this method.

In the middle of the surgical procedure a critical stainless steel instrument is contaminated and there is no sterile replacement. Which time setting would be selected for the rapid return (flash) sterilizer?

3 minutes

Three minutes is the time required to flash (temperature 270 degrees F) if the instrument is stainless steel and has no lumen.

The most reliable means of monitoring the effectiveness of the sterilizer that ensures sterilziation parameters have been met is:

biological

Biological monitors (spore tests) are the most reliable means of monitoring sterilizer effectiveness. Live agent-sensitive spores of nonpathogenic organisms are placed in a test pack, run through the proper cycle, and then tested for viablility. Bacillus sterothermophilus spores are used to monitor the effectiveness of steam autoclaves, and Bacillus subtilis spores are used for EtO sterilizers. Both can be used to monitor the effectiveness of STERIS or Sterrad.

When packaging instruments for sterilization instruments should be:

left open and placed on a rack

When instruments are packaged for sterilization, they must be left open and placed on a rack or "stringer" to ensure that they stay open so that the sterilant can reach all areas of the instruments.

When storing sterile packs, you should place them:

behind packs with older dates

When sterile packs are stored, they should be placed behind packs with older dates (stock rotation), away from vents, and in closed cabinets.

Items that contact sterile tissue and must be sterilized are considered:

critical

Critical items are those which, if not properly sterilized, would present a high risk of infection (i.e., those used for dissection of tissue or any time the body's first line of defense is broken).

The disinfectant that should not be used on lensed instruments due to the potential for loosening the "cement" around the lens is:

isoproplyl alcohol

Lensed instruments must never be left to soak in isopropyl alcohol, as that could dissolve the "cement" holding the lens in place.

Spillage of blood that occurs during surgery should be:

cleaned up immediately

Spillage of blood or body fluids that occurs during surgery should be cleaned up immediately by the circulator wearing proper protection and using a high powered germicidal agent. This is referred to as concurrent disinfection.

The purpose of keeping doors to the operating room closed is to:

maintain positive pressure

Doors to the operating room should remain closed to maintain positive air pressure. Filtered air enters from above the operating table and exits through a vent near the floor, forcing dirty air out.

The purpose of washing the hands prior to the surgical scrub is to:

remove gross soil and transient microorganisms

Gross soil and transient organisms are removed by washing the hands prior to the surgical hand scrub. When performed properly, the surgical scrub renders the hands surgically clean.

When dispensing sterile items to a sterile field, the circulator would:

ensure that wrapper tails are properly secured

When dispensing sterile items, the circulator would stand at least 1 foot (12") from the sterile field, open the far side of the package first to avoid reaching over the sterile contents, and secure the wrapper tails to prevent the wrapper edges (nonsterile) from touching sterile areas. Sterile solution bottles are not to be recapped for later use because of possible inadvertent contamination while opening, pouring, and recapping the bottle.

The ST has completed the sterile setup when notified that the surgeon will be 30 minutes late. He or she would:

remain with the sterile field until further notified

Sterile talbes are not to be covered because of difficulty in uncovering them without contamination. To break scrub for further instruction would not be cost effective. Once prepared, sterile fields cannot be left ungaurded. Sitting on stools is not recommended, as gown areas below table level are considered contaminated and the hands should not rest in the "lap".

Refers to the degree of microbial contamination on an object.

Bioburden

Procedures performed aht the end of a surgical case to protect the health care worker who will be handling the surgical instruments in the sterile processing department are known as:

terminal disinfection and sterilization

Terminal disinfection and sterilization are the procedure performed after the surgical procedure to protect the health care worker in the sterile processing department who will handle the surgical instruments (this includes placing all instruments used during surgery in the washer sterilizer).

If the temperature on the steam sterilizer reads 270 degrees F, what should the pressure reading be?

27 psi

The addition of 27 pounds per square inch is requrired to raise the temperature in the chamber to 270 degrees F; 15 to 17 psi is required to raise the temperature to 250 degrees F.

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