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Critical Measurements

Measurements made when the accuracy of the concentration of solution is important; measurements made using glassware manufactured to strict standards
Class A glassware, or precise glassware
includes volumetric flasks and volumetric pipets and is marked with capacity tolerance limits (error limits).


National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

agency that promotes international standardization of measurements;


Noncritical measurements

estimated measurements; measurements made in containers that estimate volume .
Noncritical glassware can be divided into two groups: approximate glassware which includes beakers and certain flasks; and measuring glassware, which includes graduated cylinders and serological pipets.



a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration expressing the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a solution



instruments that spin samples at high speeds, forcing the heavier particles to the bottom of the container (usually a tube).
Clinical centrifuge - can be used for urinalysis or serum separation
Microcentrifuges - are widely used in the clinical laboratory to spin special microtubes ,
ultracentrifuges- used in research laboratories
serological centrifuge - centrifuge that spins small tubes such as those used in blood banking


How to clean glassware contaminated with blood or OPIM?

Must be decontaminated before it is washed.
Soaking the labware in a disinfectant solution, such as dilute chlorine bleach, quaternary ammonium detergent, or a phenol-based solution such as Amphyl for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Items should be rinsed free of disinfectant and then washed as described earlier for the routine cleaning of glassware. In some cases, labware must be sterilized by autoclaving before it can be washed.



Use steam under pressure to sterilize items such as dental and surgical instruments, solutions, and materials to be used in microbiology


What QA procedures should accompany using autoclaves?

Indicator strips containing spores from the bacterium Bacillus stearothermophilus can be used to check the effectiveness of the steam sterilization process. The strips are autoclaved with a normal load, removed, and incubated in a tube of bacterial growth medium. Lack of bacterial growth confirms the efficiency of sterilization; growth of bacteria indicates the sterilization method was inadequate and the items in that run are not sterile. Temperature, pressure, and time controls must then be checked to determine the cause of failure.


Why is a stable testing environment is required?

Laboratory air flow, room air exchange, and laboratory temperature maintenance influence the operation of temperature-controlled units. Water baths for sample heating, refrigerators, or freezers



substance dissolved in a given solution



a dissolving agent, usually a liquid