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2 min read

Guiding healthcare providers on sterilising techniques

As we are all still getting used to living in a world with COVID-19, sterilising techniques are under the spotlight. To help ensure the safety of healthcare workers, patients and broader community, we all need to do our part to stop the spread of infection wherever we can.

Medical professional putting on safety gloves

Standards providing guidance in healthcare

Sterile products and sterilising methods are guided by Standards, setting the benchmark for their performance, testing and outcomes. Whether they are products everyone can use such as hand sanitisers to processes to clean reusable medical equipment, Standards guide us towards a safer environment that promotes health and wellbeing.

Without the right sterilising methods and products, healthcare providers and their patients could be at greater risk of spreading or catching infections. The use of reusable medical devices is essential for many tasks. The Australian adoption of the international Standard AS/NZS ISO 11137 series provides guidance on sterilising healthcare products. This series includes information for raditation requirements for development, validation and routine control of sterilisation processesguidance on dosimetric aspects and establishing the sterilisation dose.

On top of equipment, the safe reprocessing, storage, handling and transportation of reusable medical equipment must be taken into consideration to ensure the products remain safe for use throughout all production and transport stages. AS/NZS 4187:2014 specifies the requirements and processes for effective practices throughout all stages of the medical device.

Single use items also have a place in a safe, sterile environment. Take rubber gloves for example, both the user and the patient require protection from cross-contamination throughout surgeries. AS/NZS 4179:2014 takes the ISO 10282:2014 Standard for single-use sterile rubber surgical gloves on board to adopt requirements for packaged sterile rubber gloves in Australia.

The development and implementation of healthcare Standards can drastically lower the chance of infections spreading, creating a safer environment for everyone.

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