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Sterilization and Disinfection

Antiseptic- A substance that kills disease-producing microorganisms but not their spores. An antiseptic is usually applied to living tissue.
Autoclave- An apparatus for the sterilization of materials using steam under pressure.
Contaminate- To soil, or pollute; to make impure.
Critical Item- An item that comes in contact with sterile tissue or the vascular system.
Decontamination- The use of physical or chemical means to remove or destroy pathogens on an item so that it is no longer capable of transmitting disease; this makes the item safe to handle.
Detergent- An agent that cleanses by emulsifying dirt and oil.
Disinfectant- an agent used to destroy pathogenic microorganisms but not their spores. Disinfectants are usually applied to inanimate objects.
Hazardous Chemical- Any chemical that presents a threat to the health and safety of an individual coming into contact with it.
Incubate- To provide proper conditions for growth and development.
Load- The articles that are being sterilized.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)- A sheet that provides information regarding a chemical, its hazards, and measures to take to prevent injury and illness when handling the chemical.
Noncritical Item- An item that comes into contact with intact skin, but not mucous membranes.
Sanitization- A process to remove organic matter from an article and to reduce the number of microorganisms to a safe level as determined by public health requirements.
Semicritical Item- An item that comes into contact with nonintact skin or intact mucous membranes.
Spore- A hard, thick-walled capsule formed by some bacteria that contains only the essential parts of the protoplasm of the bacterial cell.
Sterilization- The process of destroying all forms of microbial life, including bacterial spores.
Thermolabile- Easily affected or changed by heat.
Created by: brittanybenning