It is one of the methods of disinfections.
Methods of disinfection:
1. Natural: Sunlight and air
2. Physical: Dry heat , moist heat and radiation
3. Chemical: Liquids, solids and gases.
Preparing articles for disinfection (sterilization):
A convenient method often used is to prepare sets of the instrument, swabs, sponges, dressings, towels and the surfaces needed for each type of operation or sterile procedures.
These sets are packed into drums, bundles or on trays, labeled and kept ready for sterilising.
The articles should be carefully arranged so that those needed first are on top.
They must be loosely packed for steam to penetrate.
Drums or bins must have the perforations opened.
Bundles should have a double wrapper of close-woven cloth, or of paper.
Swabs and sponges are usually made of several thickness of surgical gauze. Raw edges must be folded to the desired size to prepare gauze. Sponges used for abdominal surgery need to be large, stitched around the edge and a piece of tape sewed to one corner. When an artery forceps is clipped into the end of the tape, there is no risk of the sponge being left inside the abdomen.
B. Packing gauze:
It is made in various sizes. Use gauze four times the width of the desired packing. Fold the edges so that they meet in the middle and again fold down the center, and roll.
C. Cotton balls:
It is prepared in various ways. Cotton balls of various sizes are prepared by rolling between the palms. Some may be needed for intestinal surgery, and for this the cotton ball must be covered with gauze and tied. This type of ball is grasped with a long handed forceps.
After use, surgical instruments should be washed first in cold water then in warm water with a detergent. Use a brush to clean well especially between the teeth of artery forceps and clamps. To be properly sterilized, there should be no dried blood or discharge. Rinse in clean water, then boil for 5 minutes and dry well.
Sharp instruments, knives and needles should be dealt with separately, taking care to avoid cuts and puncture wounds.
E. Glass syringes and metal needles:
After use, draw up some water into the glass syringe and push enough through each metal needle to make sure they are not blocked. Infected glass syringes (used for withdrawing blood or pus) should be washed immediately in cold disinfectant solution.
Next wash the syringes and needles in warm soapy water, using a bottle brush for the barrel. Rinse in clean water. Take care not to get barrels and plungers mixed, but keep them always paired together.
Needles should be examined carefully for sharpness. Take care not to prick your finger as infection may be transmitted in this way.
F. Rubber tubing
After use tubes should be cleaned with cold water, then with hot soapy water and then rinsed. The inside must be thoroughly cleaned. Then it is boiled, and hung over. Rubber catheters should be cleaned by running cold water through from both ends. Wash and rinse in cold water, then dry, with a towel or by hanging up. Autoclave the catheters before use.