Cleanliness is of big importance when it comes to hospitals and other health care institutions. A perfect and effective treatment starts from the tiniest but most essential thing – being pathogen-free. Also, who would want to get admitted to a health care institution that does not implement proper handling of sensitive subjects; such as their patients? Because of issues regarding this, professionals from the medical field developed methods on how to maintain the cleanliness and to make their workplace pathogen-free. One of the most effective methods that is currently by most, if not all, hospitals and clinics in the aseptic technique.
How different are health care institutions from others that they need the implementation of activities like these?
All hospitals and clinics must aim to be pathogen-free health care institutions. These pathogens can be considered similar to the litters on the street or the trashes on the bodies of water; they are all sources of a contamination thus they are called contaminants.
What Are Pathogens?
When speaking about pathogens, they are composed of different microorganisms whose main purpose if to cause infections and harm the body. Oftentimes, it is hard for most people to avoid direct contact with pathogens, but it is because it is not completely possible to one hundred percent be free from these microorganisms.
The best way to describe pathogens is that they are known to be disease-causing, making them one of the main contributors to most health issues our bodies encounter. Since they are found in different forms, these pathogens are also acquired in a lot of ways. How do they terrorize the human body anyway? They take up different routes in order to invade their hosts which are humans or any other living things. The routes from which the pathogens may enter their host are trough air inhalation, flowing through the blood, getting transferred via sexual intercourse, through other bodily fluids, via the fecal-oral route, or by consuming foods (either by eating or drinking) that are contaminated by them.
Types of Pathogens
When it comes to the types of pathogens, there are usually four main categories that make it easier for them to be identified. Also, you will notice that the four categories are usually what medical professionals use when they need to know the cause of a certain disease. In other words, these four categories are commonly mentioned even by layman’s term.
Viruses are very common and are known causes of mild illnesses such as a common cold. However, there are a lot of viruses around and there are some of them that can cause greater damage and infections to the body just like the human immunodeficiency virus or more known as HIV. Not all viruses are bad though, there are some of them that work just like how good bacteria does. Viruses cannot survive without their live hosts, thus they can only survive, spread out, and multiply when they are successful in entering the body of a living organism like humans.
Compared to viruses, the bacteria that thrives inside the human body are more on the “good ones”. The bad bacteria that cause bacterial infection can easily invade their hosts once the body has a lower and weaker immune system; which is most of the time caused by a virus. Although bacteria is considered to be not too dangerous, there are still cases wherein and infection can lead to diseases like meningitis and strep throat.
Compared to the first two mentioned pathogens, fungi are more complicated when it comes to treatment. They are like another living creature that resides inside the human body, just like how parasites are. However, they may also be seen on the surface of the skin, like in the case of ringworm. Another example of fungal infection is histoplasmosis which is obtained from the droppings of winged creatures such as birds and bats. They are not officially considered to be deadly, but when they spread throughout the body the complications may worsen.
The term parasite is very common to us. The microorganisms identified as parasites are ones that do not only live and survive through their host, but they also benefit by getting their food and nutrition from the host himself. Not all parasites can cause the development of diseases, but there is always a big possibility that they do. Some examples of parasites are tapeworms, ticks, and plasmodium; the three mentioned may also result in health conditions such as digestive issues, Lyme disease, and malaria accordingly.
Purpose Of Aseptic Technique And How It Is Done
The main purpose of applying the aseptic technique in all medical procedures is to avoid the unwanted contamination that can be caused by the mentioned pathogens. Throughout the technique, there are a lot of strict rules that must be followed for lesser chances of the patient’s getting an infection.
Aseptic technique is used accordingly with other medical procedures such as:
- When using surgical equipment while performing surgery or when simply handling them.
- While helping in the childbirth that is performed through normal delivery.
- Dealing with catheters that will be used for dialysis.
- Carrying out the process of dialysis.
- Insertion of draining devices such as chest tubes and urinary catheters.
- When inserting different central intravenous or arterial lines.
The Benefits Of Performing Aseptic Technique
The exposure of the contents of the body that are underneath the skin is a sign of being at higher risk of getting an infection. This is why it is very crucial and important that the materials used and the procedures themselves are applied with the aseptic technique, especially when undergoing medical procedures that put the patient in the highest vulnerability such as surgeries and operations. Therefore, medical professionals must be able to perform the necessary aseptic techniques in three phases: before, during, and after the execution of the medical procedure. Also, medical professionals may also be at risk when they get in close contact with patients who have contagious infections.
So to avoid infections, all medical institutions must apply the use of the aseptic techniques in all their procedures. It will also be harder for them when the patients encounter dangerous complications that can lead to worse situations and even death.