Asepsis is the condition of being free from disease-producing microorganisms.
Aseptic technique implies all those procedures that reduce or eliminate pathogens and
their actions or minimize their areas of existence. Confusion sometimes results from
erroneously thinking that medical asepsis and surgical asepsis are the same except one
is used on a medical ward and the other is used in a surgical ward. This is not so.
Some of the differences between medical aseptic technique and surgical aseptic
technique are listed below.
(1) Medical asepsis. All of the procedures used to protect the patient and
his environment from the spread of infectious organisms.
(2) Surgical asepsis. All of the procedures used to sterilize and to keep
sterile any objects or articles that are to be introduced into a wound or body cavity or
that is to penetrate the skin.
Medical asepsis. Cleanliness (freedom from most pathogenic
Surgical asepsis. Sterility (freedom from all microorganisms).
(1) Medical asepsis. To reduce the transmission of pathogenic organisms
from patient to another person.
(2) Surgical asepsis. To prevent introduction of any organism into an open
wound on the patient or into a body cavity.
(1) Medical asepsis. Patients with a communicable disease are separated
from the rest of the patients by room, ward, or unit.
(2) Surgical asepsis. Patients requiring surgery are taken to the operating
room of the hospital.