6.1 What Is the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfection, and Sterilization?

Cleaning is a process in which infectious agents and the organic material on which they thrive are physically removed but not necessarily destroyed. It is followed by disinfection or sterilization, depending on the situation.

Disinfection is the process of neutralizing pathogenic organisms, except for bacterial spores. It is frequently utilized in the OR. In contrast, sterilization is a process in which all viable microorganisms are eliminated. It is frequently used to decontaminate medical equipment.

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