AerosolsMicroscopic particles <5µm in size that are the residue of evaporated droplets and are produced when a person coughs, sneezes, shouts, or sings. These particles can remain suspended in the air for prolonged periods of time and can be carried on normal air currents in a room or beyond, to adjacent spaces or areas receiving exhaust air.
Airborne precautionsA set of practices used for patients known or suspected to be infected with agents transmitted person-to-person by the airborne route.
Alcohol-based hand rubA TGA-registered alcohol-containing preparation designed for reducing the number of viable microorganisms on the hands without the use or aid of running water and which is included on the ARTG as a medicinal product.
AntimicrobialA chemical substance that inhibits or destroys bacteria, viruses or fungi, and can be safely administered to humans and animals.
AntisepsisThe use of chemical or physical methods to prevent infection by destroying or inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms.
Antimicrobial StewardshipAn ongoing effort by a health service organisation to reduce the risks associated with increasing antimicrobial resistance and to extend the effectiveness of antimicrobial treatments. It may incorporate several strategies, including monitoring and review of antimicrobial use.
AntisepticIs a substance that is recommended by its manufacturer for application to the skin or mucous membrane of a patient to deactivate or prevent the growth of micro-organisms to a level that may cause clinical infection
AsepsisFreedom from infection or infectious (pathogenic) material.
Aseptic techniqueA set of practices aimed at minimising contamination and is particularly used to protect the patient from infection during procedures. Many of the other work practices that form standard precautions are required for aseptic technique, however, adherence to these practices alone does not constitute aseptic technique. Sterile single-use equipment or instruments must be used according to manufacturer’s instructions and in such a way that the sterility of the item is maintained.
ChlorhexidineA biguanide compound used as an antiseptic agent with topical antibacterial activity.
Clean techniqueClean technique refers to practices that reduce the number of infectious agents, and should be considered the minimum level of infection control for non-invasive patient-care activities. Practices include  personal hygiene, particularly hand hygiene, to reduce the number of infectious agents on the skin; use of barriers to reduce transmission of infectious agents (including proper handling and disposal of sharps); environmental cleaning; and reprocessing of equipment between patient uses.
Cleaning processRemoving dirt and germs from surfaces. The most effective way to do this is by rubbing or scrubbing the surface with warm water and detergent, followed by rinsing and drying. When MROs are suspected or known to be present, the cleaning process should include the use of a detergent solution followed by the use of a disinfectant so that surfaces are cleaned and disinfected.
Clinical wasteWaste material that consists wholly or partly of human or animal tissue, blood or body substances, excretions, drugs or other pharmaceutical products, swabs/ dressings, syringes, needles or other sharp instruments.
ContactThe touching of any patient or their immediate surroundings or performing any procedure.
Contact pointThe area of direct contact of skin to equipment.
Contact precautionsA set of practices used to prevent transmission of infectious agents that are spread by direct or indirect contact with the patient or the patient’s environment.
Critical itemsThese items confer a high risk for infection if they are contaminated with any microorganism and must be sterile at the time of use. This includes any objects that enter sterile tissue or the vascular system, because any microbial contamination could transmit disease.
DecontaminationUse of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy pathogens on a surface or item so that they are no longer capable of transmitting infectious particles and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal.
Detergent solutionA medical-grade detergent product (that is registered as a Class I Medical Device with the TGA and which is intended to be used in the cleaning of surfaces or other medical devices) diluted with water as per manufacturer’s instructions.
DisinfectantA TGA-registered disinfectant chemical product that is intended for use in disinfection of surfaces or medical devices.
DisinfectionDestruction of pathogenic and other kinds of microorganisms by physical or chemical means.
Droplet precautionsA set of practices used for patients known or suspected to be infected with agents transmitted by respiratory droplets.
DropletsSmall particles of moisture generated when a person coughs or sneezes, or when water is converted to a fine mist by an aerator or shower head. These particles, intermediate in size between drops and droplet nuclei, can contain infectious microorganisms and tend to quickly settle from the air such that risk of disease transmission is usually limited to persons in close proximity (e.g. at least 1 metre) to the droplet source.
Fit checkA quick check to ensure that the respirator is fitting each time it is put on.
Fit testA method of ensuring that a P2 mask is fitted correctly and suitable for use by a specific individual.
Hand hygieneA general term applying to processes aiming to reduce the number of microorganisms on hands. This includes  application of a waterless antimicrobial agent (e.g. alcohol-based hand rub) to the surface of the hands; and use of soap/solution (plain or antimicrobial) and water (if hands are visibly soiled), followed by patting dry with single-use towels.
Healthcare workerAll people delivering healthcare services, including students and trainees, who have contact with patients or with blood or body substances.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI)Infections acquired in healthcare facilities (‘nosocomial’ infections) and infections that occur as a result of healthcare interventions (‘iatrogenic’ infections), and which may manifest after people leave the healthcare facility.
High level disinfectionMinimum treatment recommended for reprocessing instruments and devices that cannot be sterilised for use in semi-critical sites.
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filterAn air filter that removes >99.97% of particles > 0.3 microns (the most penetrating particle size) at a specified flow rate of air.
Hospital-grade disinfectantA TGA-registered disinfectant for surfaces for use in healthcare or healthcare-related applications.
ImmunocompromisedHaving an immune system that has been impaired by disease or treatment.
Infectious agentAn infectious agent (also called a pathogen or germ) is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. Most infectious agents are microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and prions.
Instrument disinfectantA TGA-registered disinfectant for medical devices.
Intermediate level disinfectionMinimum treatment recommended for reprocessing instruments and devices for use in non-critical sites, or where there are specific concerns regarding contamination of surfaces with species of mycobacteria (e.g. Mycobacterium tuberculosis). 
Invasive procedureEntry into tissues, cavities or organs or repair of traumatic injuries.
Key partsParts of the procedure equipment or solutions that must remain aseptic throughout clinical procedures, in order to protect the patient from contamination or infection. For example a wound dressing, catheter lubrication, syringe tip, needle etc. In IV therapy, key parts are usually those that come into direct contact with the liquid infusion e.g. needles, syringe tips, exposed central line lumens. 
Key sitesSusceptible open or broken wounds, surgical or intravenous access sites.
Medical deviceA device that is intended for use with humans and used in therapeutic processes, being entered onto the ARTG.
Non-critical itemsThese items come into contact with intact skin but not mucous membranes. Thorough cleaning is sufficient for most non-critical items after each individual use, although either intermediate or low-level disinfection may be appropriate in specific circumstances.
P2 mask (respirator)A particulate filter personal respiratory protection device or P2 mask/respirator is a close fitting mask worn for airborne precautions, which is capable of filtering 0.3μm particles. A P2 mask must comply with AS/NZS 1716:2009
Personal protective equipment (PPE)A variety of barriers used alone or in combination to protect mucous membranes, skin, and clothing from contact with infectious agents. PPE includes gloves, masks, respirators, protective eyewear, face shields, and gowns.
ProcedureAn act of care for a patient where there is a risk of direct introduction of a pathogen to the patient.
Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquetteA combination of measures designed to minimise the transmission of respiratory pathogens via droplet or airborne routes in healthcare settings.
RoutinePerformed as part of usual practice (as opposed to the use of additional measures in specific circumstances e.g. where invasive procedures are conducted or in the event of an outbreak).
Semi-critical ItemsThese items come into contact mucous membranes or non-intact skin, and should be single use or sterilized after each use. If this is not possible, high-level disinfection is the minimum level of reprocessing that is acceptable.
SharpsInstruments used in delivering healthcare that can inflict a penetrating injury e.g. needles, lancets and scalpels.
Single-useSingle-use means the medical device is intended to be used on an individual patient during a single procedure and then discarded. It is not intended to be reprocessed and used on another patient. Some single-use devices are marketed as non-sterile which require processing to make them sterile and ready for use. The manufacturer of the device will include appropriate processing instructions to make it ready for use.
Single-use devices  (SUDS)Single-use devices are medical devices that are labelled by the original manufacturer as ‘single use’ and are only intended to be used once.
Standard precautionsWork practices that constitute the first-line approach to infection prevention and control in the healthcare environment. These are recommended for the treatment and care of all patients.
Standard-ANTTAn approach to ANTT used for technically simple aseptic procedures.
SterileFree from all living microorganisms; usually described as a probability (e.g. the probability of a surviving microorganism being 1 in 1 million).
Surgical masksLoose fitting, single-use items that cover the nose and mouth.  These include products labelled as dental, medical procedure, isolation and laser masks.
Transmission-based precautionsExtra work practices in situations where standard precautions alone may be insufficient to prevent infection (e.g. for patients known or suspected to be infected or colonised with infectious agents that may not be contained with standard precautions alone).

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