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Definition: asepsis from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Practice of ensuring that bacteria are excluded from open sites during surgery, wound dressing, blood sampling, and other medical procedures. Aseptic technique is a first line of defence against infection.

Summary Article: Asepsis
From Black's Medical Dictionary, 43rd Edition

A technique to produce a germ-free environment to protect patients from infection. It is used for any procedure that might introduce infection into the body, and is essential for all surgery – even minor procedures. Asepsis is achieved by ensuring that all people who come into contact with the patient scrub their hands and wear sterilised gowns with disposable masks and gloves. Operating-theatre air and equipment must also be clean. An aseptic technique is also necessary when caring for patients whose immune system (see IMMUNITY) is suppressed: one example is LEUKAEMIA, the treatment of which affects the immune system. Asepsis is aimed at preventing infection; antisepsis is the use of chemicals to destroy germs already on the body or in a wound (see ANTISEPTICS).

Copyright © A & C Black Publishers Ltd

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