The Three Levels Of Decontamination

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Register to read the introduction… These three levels are the processes applied to ensure that medical devices, that are designed to be re-used, present no infection risk to both subsequent patients that come in to contact with the devices and to staff that manage them (Weston, 2008). The level of decontamination necessary is determined by the intended use of the medical device and the risk of transmission of infection that it presents (Wilson, 2006).
Medical devices are a diverse range of products, excluding medicines, which are used for a variety of purposes such as to assuage or counterbalance patients’ disability or injury (MHRA, 2006). Commodes are items of equipment that are considered to be medical devices.
The process of cleaning physically removes organic soiling and also a significant quantity of micro-organisms, or bioburden (Gould and Brooker, 2008). It is this physical removal that is essential if progressing to disinfection, as disinfectants are inactivated by organic matter (Damani, 2003). If the item of equipment is not dried following cleaning, any remaining micro-organisms may multiply as moisture provides an environment where Gram-negative bacteria in particular will thrive (Wilson, 2006). All of these elements of cleaning reduce the risk of transmission of
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However, it will reduce micro-organisms to a level which will not cause harm (Wilson, 2006). Adequate cleaning prior to disinfection is essential for the process to be effective (Bissett, 2010). To accomplish disinfection, chemicals or heat may be used. Thermal disinfection is most effective as it is a method that is easy to control with predictable effects (Wilson, 2006) however some equipment is damaged by heat therefore the use of an alternative such as chemical disinfection is indicated. This is thought to be less efficient and sometimes unpredictable due to the some of the properties that disinfectants may exhibit – they may be harmful to skin, become deactivated by surfactants, cause corrosive damage to equipment and some may be toxic (Gould, …show more content…
In order to communicate that this has occurred Trust policy, in line with regulatory guidance and DH guidance, advises that a system is in place to indicate that an item of equipment has been decontaminated. Bucior and Cochrane (2010) advise that areas of commodes should be cleaned in a particular order working from clean to dirty areas or from the top of the commode working down to finish with the wheels. Griffith et al (2007) concluded that replacing cleaning cloths with a disposable alternative enhanced the efficacy of the cleaning process in terms of bacterial counts which may suggest cloths that are re-used become contaminated. This hypothesis is supported by Tebbutt (1988) who found that re-usable cloths were less effective after they had been used and rinsed several

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