At Missoula Bone & Joints Ambulatory Surgery Center keeping infections very low is essential to successful surgical outcomes. Sterilization describes a process that kills all forms of bacteria, disease, fungi, and viruses. It is carried out in health-care facilities by physical or chemical methods. It not only protects the patients, but the medical professionals as well.
There are many types of sterilization, but the most common type is steam using an autoclave. It is the most widely used and the most dependable. Steam sterilization is achieved by exposing the items to be sterilized with saturated steam under pressure. Air is removed from the chamber by gravity displacement or dynamic air removal methods and the load is heated to the recommended sterilization temperature. Compared with dry heat sterilization, steam is the more efficient method because the moisture in steam is a good conductor of heat and is superior at penetrating the load. Also, with less energy needed, steam sterilization offers increased productivity with lower energy expenditure. The items are heated to an appropriate sterilization temperature for a given amount of time, and by following strict guidelines, it ensures that items will be properly sterilized and safe for use.
Sterilization practices are essential for ensuring that medical and surgical instruments do not transmit infectious pathogens from one patient to another, and it is a key factor in preventing infections.
The Certified Surgical Technician, CST, works with the implant vendors before surgery to have access to all instrument sets needed to successfully complete that surgery. This sterile preparation is completed on-site at Missoula Bone & Joint’s surgery center prior to surgery day. The CST is a crucial member of the surgical team. Inside the surgical suite they prepare the surgical field with instruments, implants, and supplies before surgery. The CST is always aware of the sterile field, watching to make sure that sterility is maintained at all times.