Archives for 2013

What Is a Sterile Field?

A sterile field is an area kept free of microorganisms to protect the health and safety of a patient during a medical procedure, usually a surgery. This environment is aseptic; all items in the sterile field are sterilized and should not contain microorganisms. Maintaining aseptic conditions is critical for surgical safety, as an infection could be very dangerous for the patient. Medical care providers learn how to create and maintain a safe surgery environment during their training.

A Confusing Attempt to Cure Compounding Pharmacies.

Remember the panic about compounding pharmacies? These are state-licensed retail businesses that mix and sell medications, but without the federal safety approval required for mass-produced drugs. No? How about the scandal last year involving a Massachusetts pharmacy whose tainted back-pain steroids led to hundreds of serious infections and more than 60 deaths, many related to meningitis?Oh, yes, that you recall. Scary stuff.
Now that you’re focused, here’s the news: Congress has finally moved to give the Food and Drug Administration greater authority over compounding pharmacies. This week, negotiators from the House and Senate came up with a compromise bill designed to prevent another fiasco like last fall’s misadventure with the since-closed New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

Hospital Sterility: Cause for Concern

Hospital’s aseptic practices don’t even cover the basics

Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show a significant increase in nosocomial infections, which are infections acquired during a hospitalization. (1) William Jarvis, M.D., acting director of the Center For Disease Control hospital infections program, reported that hospital- acquired infections cost 90,000 lives and $4.5 billion a year. Why does this happen in the United States, which has a hospital system armed with advanced technology and wonder drugs for fighting infections?

Breaks in Aseptic Technique Require Review of OR Basics

As an infection preventionist, do you know what’s happening in your hospital’s operating rooms (ORs) related to infection prevention and control practices? To get an idea of how well recommended practices are being implemented in the surgical suites across the U.S., ICT conducted an opinion poll of OR nurses to gather their opinions on a number of issues related to infection prevention and control.

Wound Inspection and Aseptic techniques in Wound Care.

Wounds that need to be dressed using an aseptic technique are deep wounds that involve muscle and/or bone, and post-operative wounds. The aim of an aseptic technique is to prevent secondary infection of the wound during the dressing.

Sanotracin RTU


Control of the aseptic processing environment.

Methods used by industry with applications to hospital pharmacy for maintaining an aseptic environment in production of sterile pharmaceutical products are discussed. A major source of product contamination is airborne microorganisms. The laminar-airflow workbench with a high-efficiency particulate air filter provides an ultraclean environment for preparation of sterile products. However, the workbench does not guarantee sterility of products and is not effective if not properly installed and maintained or if the operator uses poor aseptic technique. The laminar-airflow workbench should be tested for leaks, airflow velocity, and airflow patterns when installed, and the workbench should be checked periodically thereafter. The workbench should be placed in a cleanroom where traffic and air disturbances that might affect the laminar airflow are eliminated. A major source of airborne microbial contamination in cleanrooms is people. Personnel movement through an area and presence of personnel without lint-free, nonshedding protective garments increase the levels of microbial contaminants in an area. The transport of nonsterile products (bottles, boxes, paper products) into a cleanroom should be minimized. The cleanroom itself should be sanitized and should be immaculate.

Evaluation of disinfecting procedures for aseptic transfer in hospital pharmacy departments.

Current practice in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals employs 70% Industrial Methylated Spirit spray for surface disinfection of components required in Grade A pharmaceutical environments. This study seeks to investigate other agents and procedures that may provide more effective sanitisation. Several methods are available to test the efficacy of disinfectants against vegetative organisms. However, no methods currently available test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores on the hard surfaces encountered in the pharmacy aseptic processing environment. Therefore, a method has been developed to test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores, modified from British Standard 13697 and Association of Analytical Chemists standards. The testing procedure was used to evaluate alternative biocides and disinfection methods for transferring components into hospital pharmacy cleanrooms, and to determine which combinations of biocide and application method have the greatest efficacy against spores of Bacillus subtilis subspecies subtilis 168, Bacillus subtilis American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) 6633, and Bacillus pumilis ATCC 27142. Stainless steel carrier test plates were used to represent the hard surfaces in hospital pharmacy cleanrooms. Plates were inoculated with 10(7)-10(8) colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL) and treated with the various biocide formulations, using different disinfection methods. Sporicidal activity was calculated as log reduction in CFU. Of the biocides tested, 6% hydrogen peroxide and a quaternary ammonium compound/chlorine dioxide combination were most effective compared to a Quat/biguanide, amphoteric surfactant, 70% v/v ethanol in deionised water and isopropyl alcohol in water for injection. Of the different application methods tested, spraying followed by wiping was the most effective, followed closely by wiping alone. Spraying alone was least effective.

Methods Manual – Applied Microbiology

Bacteria live in our soil, streams, food, in us, and in virtually all habitable (and some seemingly inhabitable) locations on earth. They can make us wine, yogurt, and garden compost, and without them we couldn’t even digest our food. All nitrogen would eventually be lost to the atmosphere without them. Bacteria are increasingly used as research tools and in biotechnology, supplying us with recombinant DNA, enzymes, and designer drugs. We are even increasingly using them to rid ourselves of toxic wastes

Research Article: Antiseptic and Aseptic Techniques Are Developed

The development of antiseptic and aseptic techniques had a dramatic impact on the health and life of those living in the late-nineteenth century. Essentially, these techniques combat the growth and transmission of harmful organisms. Antisepsis, meaning the topical destruction of bacteria, was developed as an offshoot of French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur’s germ theory. Asepsis, meaning the absence of harmful organisms, was a later refinement of antisepsis and led to the development of modern surgery. Both techniques vastly reduced infection rates and, therefore, increased survivability from trauma or disease. Antisepsis and asepsis influenced industry and accompanied cultural changes during the latter Victorian period and into the Industrial Revolution.