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Decontamination Life Cycle

Decontamination Life Cycle


The decontamination life cycle model highlights the extent to which decontamination affects the whole of any health care facility and not just those areas processing equipment. Traditionally, decontamination has been the responsibility of the departmental heads of specialist units, for example sterile services, endoscopy units, theatre surgical suites, etc. Management arrangements within health care facilities often divided these functions and made it difficult for a totally coordinated approach to the application of decontamination standards and practices to be achieved.

Decontamination Life Cycle

Effective decontamination requires the attainment of acceptable standards at all stages of the life cycle. Failure to address issues in any of these stages will result in inadequate decontamination. At all stages of reprocessing, the following issues need to be taken into account:

  1. The location and activities where decontamination takes place;
  2. Instrument reprocessing facilities and equipment at each location;
  3. Ensuring that equipment used is validated, maintained, and tested in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and legislation;
  4. The existence of effective management arrangements;
  5. The existence of policies and procedures for all aspects of decontamination work.

The aim of decontamination is to make re-usable medical devices safe for use on a patient and for staff to handle without presenting an infection hazard. Source: Depot Health