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2007 Disinfection Guidelines
(97 kB)









Disinfection Guidelines

Page updated 30 April 2007

Disinfection Guidelines

Key Points

Cleaning is the key to disinfection

Clean using detergents in the first instance

Chemical disinfection is rarely needed in hospitals

Single use devices must never be reprocessed or re-used

Availability of Antiseptics and Disinfectants

Disinfectants and antiseptics are expensive and often ineffective so they tend to be used excessively and ineffectually. The most effective means of disinfection, that is the reduction of microbial contamination, is thorough cleaning. Chemical disinfectants are ineffective in the presence of dirt. They may be inactivated by dirt, biological fluids or by rubber. They may destroy certain substances, particularly rubber and metal. Antiseptics may reduce bacterial counts on the surface of the skin or a wound but rarely enhance and more likely will interfere with healing.

Domestic Cleaning Agents




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