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Key Takeaways: Guideline for Sterile Technique

Publish Date: February 24, 2021


ACTION: Cover the sterile field if it will not be used immediately or during periods of increased activity.

NEW:
If the sterile field is in use, the portion of the sterile field that will not be immediately used may be covered. 

EXPLANATION:  When covering the entire sterile field, use a sterile drape designed for this purpose or use the sterile two-“cuffed”-drape method:

  • Place the first drape horizontally over the table or other area to be covered, with the cuff at or just beyond the halfway point.
  • Place the second drape from the opposite side of the table with the cuff positioned so that it completely covers the cuff of the first drape.
  • When covering a sterile field, place the cover in a manner that allows it to be removed without contaminating the sterile field.
  • Remove the drapes by placing the hands within the cuff on the top drape and lifting the drape up and away from the table and toward the person removing the drape. Remove the second drape from the opposite side in the same manner. 3.1.

NEW: Have an interdisciplinary team that includes an infection preventionist develop and implement measures to minimize risk of contamination to covered sterile fields. These measures may include a posted sign, limited traffic, or direct observation. 6.3.2.

Related Resources

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