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All equipment used during treatment of a patient must be sterile. This means that all the instruments including scalpel handles will have been subjected to steam cleaning under pressure. This will occur in an autoclave. The instruments will have spent three minutes at 134°C at 27 psi. This will ensure that all microorganisms and spores present on the instruments are dead.

Prior to autoclaving, clean the instruments with soapy water and a brush to remove all debris. An ultrasonic cleaner will also do this task. Then place the instruments in the autoclave. The instruments will emerge sterile and dry. To ensure performance, equipment must be maintained and tested as per Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 2010*. Each steriliser/autoclave

must have a log book in which the results of routine monitoring, examinations, tests, faults, repairs etc., are recorded. (NHS Lanarkshire Health Protection Committee)

Conducting an audit

Audits give us a picture of where we are, what we are doing and how we can improve. Please use the following templates as a guide and take a snapshot of your practice. If you wish perhaps we can start a discussion on the web forum to discuss outcomes and actions.

Hand washing

Please complete the following

Criteria Hand washing technique





Hands are wet under continuously running warm water Dispensed liquid soap is used Liquid soap is applied to wet hands Hands rubbed to create a lather A copy of the ten steps to effective hand hygiene is on the wall The wall chart is followed Hands are rinsed Hands are dried using a paper towel When we have to use alcohol hand rub ( only effective if hands are visibly clean)

Alcohol based rub is dispensed onto hands Alcohol hand rub is rubbed onto the hands ensuring all surfaces are covered by the alcohol Hands are rubbed until the alcohol has evaporated Cleaning procedures for instruments prior to autoclaving Criteria Cleaning of instruments prior to autoclaving

All visible debris removed using a clean brush and running water Dry the instruments Use manufacturer’s instructions to fill ultrasonic bath Run the ultrasonic bath to allow the solution to degas prior to loading with instruments Empty clean and dry the bath for the next session Visually inspect instruments for debris and repeat if necessary Document all servicing and repairs

The above are guidelines only. But audits and reviews are useful methods of ensuring that we as professionals provide the best care for our patients.

The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists •| 150 Lord Street •| Southport •| PR9 0NP •| 01704 546141 •|

Podiatry Review May/June 2014  

Volume 71 number 3 ISSN 1756-3291