Archives for September 2013

The importance of an aseptic technique.

An aseptic technique is one of the many educational programs people in the health care system are required to undergo as part of their vocational training. If you do not yet realize how crucial to have this type of training is, read below for a few reasons, why it is important to an aseptic technique. Observe aseptic techniques are employed in order to prevent the spread of certain microorganisms, which have the potential to cause serious illnesses. Prevent an ailment is always easier than actually treat a disease. The cost of treatment of diseases also takes a toll on the medical system and the economy, which is another reason why aseptic measures are of utmost importance.

FDA not alone in acting on compounding pharmacies.

The FDA this year has done an inspection sweep through the largest compounding pharmacies after being caught off guard last year when a nationwide fatal meningitis outbreak was tied to a compounder in Massachusetts. But the federal agency is not alone in trying to get on top of the issues. Authorities in Massachusetts, which have stepped up their own oversight, recently halted production at two drug compounders there.


The first day in lab, we learned how to transfer bacteria using the Aseptic Technique. This is a very important technique in microbiology because we need to move sample bacteria from one contained area to another without introducing contaminants. This technique requires that we work on a clean surface with sterile instruments. When we enter and exit the lab, we wash our hands and clean our lab benches with phenol, and wear lab coats while we experiment.

Aseptic Transfer

In this lab exercise, you will learn to transfer microbiological cultures from one medium to a second, sterile medium without contamination of the culture, sterile medium, or the surroundings.  Why is this important?  In exercise 2-1, you learned that microorganisms thrive pretty much everywhere.  It is far too easy to contaminate your lab tests with stray organisms from the air, the countertop, or your tools. It is also possible to expose your surroundings or yourself to a possible pathogen.Certain techniques are necessary when handling organisms, tubed media, plated media, and inoculating tools such as loops, needles, or swabs.  Using these techniques to maintain aseptic conditions is a process known as “aseptic technique.  ” What is “aseptic technique”? What does the word “septic” mean?  Aseptic technique is a means of performing lab work that greatly reduces the risk of contamination.  Refer to your laboratory text for various methods of transferring microbial cultures; it and your instructor will give you a solid foundation from which you may learn the techniques. Practice, however, is the only way to master such manipulations.

Aseptic Technique and Good Cell Culture Practice.

To ensure all cell culture procedures are performed to a standard that will prevent contamination from bacteria, fungi and mycoplasma and cross contamination with other cell lines.


  1. Chloros / Presept solution (2.5g/l)
  2. 1% formaldehyde based disinfectant e.g.Virkon,Tegador

FDA finds fungal, bacterial contaminants in Newbern pharmacy’s steroid medicine

Both bacterial and fungal contaminants have been detected in unopened vials of drugs made by Main Street Family Pharmacy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, providing the first direct evidence that the pharmacy is responsible for a new outbreak involving a widely used steroid medication.

Hepatitis in clinical laboratories: a three-year survey

In a survey of laboratories where members of the Association of Clinical Pathologists worked, hepatitis was reported from 5 percent of 244 in 1970, 7 percent of 215 in 1971, and 2 percent of 337 in 1972. Of the 36 laboratories reporting hepatitis, a modest excess tested specimens from haemodialysis, transplant, and haemophilia units and performed tests for HB Ag. The average annual attack rate for staff of all types was 111 per 100,000 with higher rates for biochemists (268 in science graduates and 204 in technicians) and medical haematologists (258). Tests for HB Ag were positive in 17 cases ans negative in 15; nine were untested. No case was fatal and only 10 of the 41 required admission to hospital. Fourteen had a history of contract with ‘high-risk (haemodialysis) specimens’ but the most frequently suspected source of infection was personal contact with jaundiced or HB Ag-positive individuals and only in three cases were laboratory accidents suggested as the suspected source of infection. The findings indicate a need for caution and sensible safety precautions but not for exaggerated alarm.

Incidence of tuberculosis, hepatitis, brucellosis, and shigellosis in British medical laboratory workers.

A retrospective postal survey of 21 000 medical laboratory workers in England and Wales showed 18 new cases of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1971, a five-times increased risk of acquiring the disease compared with the general population. Technicians were at greatest risk, especially if they worked in morbid anatomy departments. Of the 35 cases of hepatitis, the technicians were again the occupational group most likely to acquire the disease. Microbiology staff were twice as likely to report shigellosis as those in other pathology divisions but only one case of brucellosis was reported in the whole laboratory population. A similar survey carried out in 1973 of 3000 Scottish medical laboratory workers corroborates the results from England and Wales. Medical laboratory workers continue to experience a considerable risk of developing an occupationally acquired infection. Improvements in staff safety and health care seem to be necessary.

Aseptic Technique Prevents Infection

As pharmacists and technicians, we are an integral part of the delivery of health care to patients in a variety of practice settings. One of the most important changes that we can actively contribute to is the “Targeting Zero” initiative, created by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) to prevent the most common and fatal healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).1