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Flashcards in The 17 Principles Of Aseptic Technique Deck (21):

What are the objectives of the technique

Containment, confinement, reduction, and elimination of microorganisms to prevent contamination of the sterile field


What are the techniques based on

Central principal that microorganisms transmit disease from objects, surfaces, air, and dust to patients and personnel.


What kind of method is aseptic technique

Doing and thinking used during the entire surgical process


What is the sterile field

The physical area starting with the surgical incision at the center and extending to include the patient drapes, sterile instrument tables, and any draped equipment such as the operating microscope


Contamination of a sterile surface occurs when a nonsterile surface touches a sterile surface

Sterile surfaces contact only sterile surfaces; nonsterile surfaces only contact nonsterile surfaces


Before any sterile item is distributed to the sterile field, the wrapper must be inspected for tears, holes, and signs of water damage. The chemical sterility indicator must also be inspected. Biological indicators are placed in batches of sterile goods to verify the correct functioning of a sterilizing system. Although an item has been through the process of sterilization, it might not be sterile. Many conditions and events can alter the sterility of the item, including puncture holes or tears in the wrapper, moisture, or failure of the sterilizer system

A sterile item is considered sterile only after it has been processed using methods that have been proven effective and that yield measurable results


Materials used as barriers against contamination are chosen for their density, strength, ability to resist moisture, and ease of use. Materials that do not meet minimum standards for patient safety are not to be used

Sterile drapes, gowns, gloves, and table covers are barriers between a nonsterile surface and a sterile surface


When a sterile item is opened, the edge of its wrapper must not touch he item. Maintaining a wide margin between the sterile item and the edge prevents possible contamination of the item as it is delivered to the field. A 1 inch margin from the perimeter of a sterile wrapper is considered not sterile. When sterile items are opened and distributed, the nonsterile hand is protected to open and distribute sterile goods.

The edge of any sterile drape, wrapper, or covering is considered nonsterile


Medication vials often are sealed with aluminum caps. When the metal cap is oried open, the edge of the vial is considered contaminated, because the top cannot be removed without dragging the nonsterile cap across the lip of he vial. When you begin to pour sterile solution into a container, do not stop pouring until the container is empty. Pull the container away from the sterile field so that no residual liquid can drop down the nonsterile side of he container into the sterile receptacle below. Sterile fluids are distributed from a single bottle all at one time

Sterile liquids in bottles with an edge that is protected with a sealed sterile cap may be delivered directly from the bottle into a sterile container in the field.


Before opening the wrapper of any sterile item, inspect it for signs of contamination. Tears, holes m, wear marks, or water spots on any wrapper are signs of questionable sterility. When in doubt do not use them.

If any doubt exists about the sterility of an item, consider it contaminated


Drapes items and sterile personnel form the periphery of the field. Sterile drapes create a barrier between a nonsterile surface and the working area of the sterile field. For example, the operating microscope, ring basin, and back table are delayed. Equipment that is not drapes must remain outside the sterile field, with at lest 12 inches allowed between the sterile and nonsterile surfaces

The draped patient is the center of the sterile field during surgery


Sterile personnel should not drop their forearms or hands below waist level nor raise them above the mid chest. The Scilla itself is considered nonsterile even though protected by a gown because it is an area of friction

Sterile gowns are considered sterile only in front from midchest to table level


Even though wraparound gowns are used in most surgical settings, the sterility of the back cannot be guaranteed because the person wearing it cannot observe it, this is called surgically clean. Sterile personnel never turn their back to the sterile field

Sterile personnel must pass other sterile personnel back to back or front to front


The top of a sterile table is the only surface considered sterile. Suture ends must not hang over the table edge. Table drapes must not be repositioned once they have been placed, because this changes the level of the sterile area. Tubing, cords, and hoses that are secured to the patient drape must not be pulled up to create addictions slack. This brigs the nonsterile portion of the tubing up to the sterile field. The scrub is responsible for measuring and allowing for necessary slack before securing these items in place when they are first brought onto he sterile field. The mayo tray that extends over the patient is sterile because it is continually monitored and is completely covered using a continuous sterile tubal drape

Sterile drapes are considered sterile only at table height


Scrubbed personnel must not move away from the sterile field. Sterile personnel are sometimes required to move around the peripheral of the field to perform their tasks. However, moving outside the immediate sterile area compromises aseptic technique. Sterile personnel should not leave the room to retrieve items from another area, even if that area is restricted

Sterile personnel remain within the immediate area of the sterile field


When sterile packages are opened, the opener must hand items to personnel or deposit them on sterile surfaces in such a way as to avoid reaching over previously opened goods. Many commercially prepared surgical items are packaged so that they can be flipped onto the sterile field from a safe distance. If the wrapper does not permit this technique to be used, nonsterile personnel must pass the item directly to scrubbed personnel

Nonsterile team members never lean over or reach over a sterile surface to distribute sterile goods to the field. They do not pass between two sterile surfaces


Team members should move around the operating suite as little as possible. This applies to both scrubbed and nonsterile personnel. Traffic into and out of the surgical suite creates air currents that sweep contaminated particles into the OR. Doors to the OR suite should remain closed when sterile supplies are opened and when surgery is in progress

Movement I slept to a minimum during surgery


This prevents the release of lint and dust particles, which create a vehicle for transmission of airborne bacteria. When dealing a surface, always unfold the drapes; never shake a drape to loosen or unfold it. At the close of surgery, fold or roll soiled drapes toward the center, taking care to contain the contaminants. Never drag a soiled drape from a surface and bundle it up against your body, even if you are wearing protective attire. This spreads contaminated particles into the environment

Drapes and linens should be handless as little as possible and with a minimum of movement


The mouth is a major reservoir for bacteria. Talking forces the breath into the air and immediate environment. Masks worn to prevent the release of bacteria-laden moisture are not 100% effective and, when improperly worn, provide little protection against the dissemination of aerosol droplets containing microorganisms

Talking is kept to a minimum during surgery


When water comes in contact with a sterile drape or gown, it can cause strike through contamination. This occurs when moisture from either side of the drapes serves as a vehicle for bacteria to infiltrate the drape from the nonsterile surface. Most disposable drapes are tightly woven to prevent strike through. With continuous contact, blood and fluids can penetrate gowns and drapes. Woven drapes are treated with a chemical that resists moisture, but they are not completely impervious. When copious amount of fluid are anticipated during a case, impervious drapes must be used

Moisture carries bacteria from a nonsterile surface to a sterile surface


When sterile supplies have been opened, the sterile setup is vulnerable to contamination. Sterile supplies should be opened as close to the time of surgery as possible. In reality however cases may be delayed or even canceled. Currently no data are available to suggest that leaving a sterile setup exposedbincreasesbhe risk of a surgical site infection. After a room is opened, it must be constantly monitored for contamination. A sterile setup must not be covered as there is no way to remove the drape without risking contamination

The sterile field is created as close as possible to the time of surgery and is monitored throughout the procedure