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Infection Control Industry Terminology
Disinfectants are substances that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects. Disinfection does not necessarily kill all microorganisms, especially resistant bacterial spores; it is less effective than sterilisation, which is an extreme physical and/or chemical process that kills all types of life. Disinfectants are different from other antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics, which destroy microorganisms within the body, and antiseptics, which destroy microorganisms on living tissue. Disinfectants are also different from biocides — the latter are intended to destroy all forms of life, not just microorganisms. Disinfectants work by destroying the cell wall of microbes or interfering with the metabolism.
Sterilization (or sterilisation) is a term referring to any process that eliminates (removes) or kills all forms of microbial life, including transmissible agents (such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, etc.) present on a surface, contained in a fluid, in medication, or in a compound such as biological culture media. Sterilization can be achieved by applying heat, chemicals, irradiation, high pressure, and filtration or combinations thereof.
An integrated place in hospitals and other health care facilities that performs sterilization and other actions on medical devices, equipment and consumables; for subsequent use by health workers in the operating theatre of the hospital and also for other aseptic procedures, eg. catheterization, wound stitching and bandaging in a medical, surgical, maternity or paediatric ward.The operations usually consist of cleaning of previously used devices, like stainless steel tools, with a sterilizing liquid. After drying the device on a stand (not by hand or cloth) it gets wrapped in a specialized paper bag (called an aseptor bag), tape-sealed and then sterilized by gas or in a steam autoclave, according to the prescripts in place at the facility.
Laboratory & Pharmaceutical Industry Terminology
- Ductless Fume Cabinet
Mainly for educational or testing use, these units generally have a fan mounted on the top (soffit) of the hood, or beneath the worktop. Air is sucked through the front opening of the hood and through a filter, before passing through the fan and being fed back into the workplace. With a ductless fume hood it is essential that the filter medium be able to remove the particular hazardous or noxious material being used. As different filters are required for different materials, recirculating fume hoods should only be used when the hazard is well known and does not change.
- Biosafety Cabinet
A biosafety cabinet (BSC) — also called biological safety cabinet or microbiological safety cabinet — is an enclosed, ventilated laboratory workspace for safely working with materials contaminated with (or potentially contaminated with) pathogens requiring a defined biosafety level. Several different types of BSC exist, differentiated by the degree of biocontainment required.
- HEPA Filter
High-efficiency particulate air or HEPA is a type of air filter. Filters meeting the HEPA standard have many applications, including use in medical facilities, automobiles, aircraft, and homes.. A filter that is qualified as HEPA is also subject to interior classifications.
- Activated Carbon Filter
Carbon filtering is a method of filtering that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, using chemical adsorption. Each particle/granule of carbon provides a large surface area/pore structure, allowing contaminants the maximum possible exposure to the active sites within the filter media. One pound (450 g) of activated carbon contains a surface area of approximately 100 acres (40 Hectares). Activated carbon works via a process called adsorption, whereby pollutant molecules in the fluid to be treated are trapped inside the pore structure of the carbon substrate. Carbon filtering is commonly used for water purification, in air purifiers and industrial gas processing, for example the removal of siloxanes and hydrogen sulfide from biogas. It is also used in a number of other applications, including respirator masks, the purification of sugarcane and in the recovery of precious metals, especially gold.
- Laboratory Autoclave
An autoclave is a device used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C for around 15–20 minutes depending on the size of the load and the contents. It was invented by Charles Chamberland in 1879, although a precursor known as the steam digester was created by Denis Papin in 1679.The name comes from Greek auto-, ultimately meaning self, and Latin clavis meaning key—a self-locking device
- Test Sieve
sieve, or sifter, is a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material or for characterizing the particle size distribution of a sample, typically using a woven screen such as a mesh or net.
- Sieve Shaker
The shaker shakes the column, usually for some fixed amount of time. After the shaking is complete the material on each sieve is weighed. The weight of the sample of each sieve is then divided by the total weight to give a percentage retained on each sieve.
The size of the average particle on each sieve is then analysed to get a cut-off point or specific size range, which is then captured on a screen.
An osmometer is a device for measuring the osmotic strength of a solution, colloid, or compound.