Cleaning of equipment and surfaces In hospitals, hotels, restaurants and homes
(SABS tested – SANS 1344:2009)
Medical equipment and surgical instruments are examples of devices that are essential for the care of patients. However, because they typically are designed for reuse, they also can transmit pathogens if any of the steps involved in reprocessing, cleaning, disinfection or sterilization are inadequate or experience failure.
Because the vast majority of pathogens are present in organic matter, e.g. visible soil, the first step in reprocessing and cleaning is the most important. Any failure to remove soil at this point, creates the potential for transmission of infection, as the efficacy of subsequent disinfection or sterilization will be compromised.
Decontamination is the process by which microorganisms are removed or destroyed in order to render an object safe. It includes:
• Disinfection; and
All hospitals and health care facilities should have a decontamination policy and help staff to decide what decontamination process should be used for which item of equipment.