Dental Asia Jul/Aug 2020

Dental Managment JULY / AUGUST 2020 DENTAL ASIA 15 A ll too often, little consideration is given to sterilisation or reprocessing areas in dental practices. Yet, reprocessing instruments between patients is crucial to meeting today’s hygiene rules in dental offices. Hygiene adviser of the W&H Group, Christian Stempf, discusses how dental practitioners have a duty of care to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases to patients and staff through infection control measures. DESIGNATION OF CLEAN AND DIRTY ZONES Creating new reprocessing areas or enhancing existing ones is not an insurmountable challenge; it simply requires some basic principles. Firstly, sufficient space should be dedicated to the reprocessing area. The size of the dental practice and volume of instruments to be reprocessed will determine the size of the reprocessing area, which should be functional and well-lit. There should be sufficient space for cleaning and sterilisation devices, as well as enough bench space for intermediate stages such as before and after cleaning, before and after packaging, and after sterilisation. “The fundamental principle is to have two areas in the room – a dirty zone and a clean zone,” explained Christian. “Instruments must travel in one direction, from the dirty zone towards the clean zone. In this one-way flow, instruments that have been cleaned must not enter the dirty zone. Therefore, a preferred design would be rectangular, for example, a corridor with two doors – one ‘In’, and one ‘Out’.” Both zones require ventilation, and the airflow should be designed such that it prevents air from the dirty zone entering into the clean zone. For areas that are beside one another, this can be achieved by pressurising the clean area through air conditioning outlets or having exhaust fans in the dirty area. In case of accidental splashing of disinfectant or any harmful fluid, a hand washing basin should be installed at the entrance, equipped with an eye-washing station. Liquid soap and hydro-alcoholic gel dispensers should have an automated or elbow operated dispensation to avoid contamination with soiled hands. The use of paper tissues for drying of hands is recommended. FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION The reprocessing space should not be used for any other purpose. Its floors and working surfaces should be smooth, devoid of sharp corners and edges, and easy to clean and disinfect. The space should be FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES IN DESIGNING REPROCESSING AREAS