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Infection prevention and control guidelines

4. Aseptic technique

Standard aseptic technique

      1. Standard aseptic technique

Standard aseptic technique

Standard aseptic technique is used during treatment of wounds (eg lacerations and ulcers), minor invasive procedures that are technically simple and brief (such as biopsy of skin lesions, hormonal implants, skin scrapings, and suture removal), venipuncture and urinary catheterisation.

All staff involved in procedures must be familiar with standard aseptic technique and know when to apply it.

Standard aseptic technique is achieved by:

  • using standard precautions (see Levels of precautions), including hand hygiene and personal protective equipment where necessary
  • using physical barriers (eg clean single-use gloves)
  • using sterile water or saline to clean ulcers or lacerations
  • using clean environmental surfaces
  • ensuring that there is no direct contact between the health professional’s hands and the patient during the procedure (‘no-touch’ technique), such as using forceps during dressings or clean single-use gloves. If direct contact may occur due to type of procedure or experience of practitioner, then a surgical technique is used.
  • using drapes as a barrier between the operator and patient’s surrounding skin or other surfaces
  • using sterile instruments and equipment
  • reprocessing reusable medical devices between each patient.