Dentists and Hand Pieces
Inferction Control Report
In today's world, the need for infection control has never been greater. The patients and the health care professionals have become more concerned about the transmission of pathogenic organism then ever before. Controlling microbial contamination through sterilization has long been considered the most essential component of an infection control program. The result of proper instrument sterilization is the protection of the patient, and the health care professional from various infection diseases. The focus on infection control has sharpened.
Since infections increase the severity of illness, complicate recovery, and prolong inpatient stays they raise the cost of care. The ever growing expense of health care has focused providers' attention on reducing costs. Often this means re-sterilizing and re-using expensive plastic items that might otherwise be discarded. Instruments must be sterilized between usage. There are several types of sterilization equipment. Steam sterilizers (autoclaves), dry heat sterilizers, heated chemical vapor sterilizers, and gas sterilizers.
These type of sterilizers also offer relatively short cycle times. Metal instruments can be processed with minimal rust or corrosion, and cutting edges remain sharp; however, instruments must be dried completely before processing. The sterilizer requires a special solution; and heat sensitive plastics may be destroyed. In addition, the unit must be placed in a well ventilated area to diffuse the chemical odor. CDC guidelines calls for weekly monitoring the working of the chemical sterilizer by doing a weekly spore test.
Liquid disinfectants, such as glutaraldehyde, are widely used in health care facilities. They have short, inexpensive disinfection cycles. However, gIutaraldehyde can not be used for all medical materials. Typical cycle times and concentrations only provide disinfecting, which can fail to kill resistant microorganisms. The solutions are highly corrosive and toxic; since they come in liquid form, they can not be used with barrier packaging. The moment an instrument is removed from the liquid, its sterility is compromised. Immersion in a liquid steriliant is not recommended because sterilization by liquid chemicals can not be monitored biologically. In addition, instruments disinfected by liquids must be handled aseptically, rinsed in sterile water, and dried with a sterile towel. Furthermore, instruments immersed in liquid sterilants are not wrapped and, therefore, must be used immediately or stored in a sterile container, according to the American Dental Association Councils on Scientific Affairs and on Dental Practice's "Infection Control Recommendations for the Dental Office and the Dental Laboratory," presented at the 1996 OSAP Scientific Forum.
Find an autoclave or sterilizer that will sterilize all instruments.
COX dry heat sterilizer,
Pelton and Crane OCM, OCR;
Distributors of Sterilizers & Autoclaves.