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What is aseptic technique?

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Aseptic technique is the performance of a task under sterile, or as close to sterile as possible, conditions by using certain procedures that prevent or limit the spread of infection. The goal of aseptic technique is asepis, a state without contaminants such as bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites.

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An example of aseptic technique is a cancer patient having her port accessed for chemotherapy. The nurse and patient must wear sterile masks while the nurse accesses the port. The nurse must have a sterile field as well as sterile equipment and gloves to prevent infection. The port must be swabbed thoroughly with alcohol. Only after all of these precautions are met can the nurse insert the IV line.

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