Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 11 ( November, 2020 ) > List of Articles

REVIEW ARTICLE

Basic Principles of Disinfection and Sterilization in Intensive Care and Anesthesia and Their Applications during COVID-19 Pandemic

Keywords : Chemical methods of sterilization, COVID-19 pandemic, Disinfection, Physical methods of sterilization, Personal protective equipment, Resterilization, Reuse, Sterilization

Citation Information : Basic Principles of Disinfection and Sterilization in Intensive Care and Anesthesia and Their Applications during COVID-19 Pandemic. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (11):1114-1124.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23562

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 16-12-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

Understanding the concepts of disinfection, sterilization, cleaning and asepsis is of prime importance to prevent transmission of infection to patients and to protect healthcare workers (HCWs). Proper disinfection of surfaces after cleaning, an important consideration at all times, has assumed special significance during the current pandemic. The global shortage of disposable equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically N95 masks and surgical 3 ply masks, and other items makes the HCWs vulnerable to transmission of infection while caring for these patients. Therefore, resterilization of such items has assumed equal importance. Cleaning, the first step in the process of sterilization, is of vital importance to reduce bioburden. The type of disinfection required depends on the nature of the equipment and its intended use. For example, critical items need high-level decontamination. In this narrative review, we elaborate on the methods of decontamination and sterilization. Many chemicals can be used for both sterilization and disinfection, and the difference lies in the concentration of the chemical and exposure time. We have also summarized strategies which can be used for resterilization of single-use items, in view of the shortages caused by the current pandemic.


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