Aseptic technique aims to prevent pathogenic organisms, in sufficient quantity to cause infection, from being introduced to susceptible body sites by the hands of staff, surfaces or equipment. It protects patients during invasive clinical procedures by utilising infection prevention measures that minimise the presence of micro-organisms.
In practicing aseptic technique, asepsis is ensured by performing a risk assessment before each procedure, identifying the key parts and key sites that are required to be kept sterile. This will ensure correct infection prevention measures are in place to perform aseptic technique safely and reducing the risk of a patient acquiring a healthcare associated infection. Infection prevention measures include:
- environmental controls
- hand hygiene
- the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- aseptic field management
- non-touch technique.
Whilst the principles of aseptic technique remain the same, the level of practice will change according to the risk identified using a standard aseptic technique risk assessment to determine the risk to the patient of acquiring a healthcare associated infection during an invasive clinical procedure. Generally, the more technically difficult (complex) procedures require more infection prevention measures.
For further information on aseptic technique, contact SA Health's Infection Control Service.