Aseptic Techniques during Specimen Collection - labsstudies

Aseptic Techniques during Specimen Collection

Aseptic Techniques during Specimen Collection

Aseptic Techniques during Specimen Collection,  Prevent laboratory personnel’s from getting infections, Ensure laboratory procedures are Safety and Protection.

 In this article you will learn :

  • Definition of aseptic techniques
  • Describe Types of aseptic techniques
  • Steps of hand washing 
  •  Sterile containers
  • Significance of aseptic conditions during specimen collection

 Definition of  aseptic techniques

  •  Aseptic technique is a set of specific practices and procedures performed under carefully controlled conditions with the goal of minimizing contamination by pathogens.
  • Aseptic technique is employed to maximize and maintain asepsis, the absence of pathogenic organisms, in the laboratory. The goals of aseptic technique are to protect the patient from infection and to prevent the spread of pathogens.

Types of Aseptic Techniques

 1. Use of antiseptics

Antiseptics commonly used for skin decontamination are:

 Alcohol (Ethanol or Methanol)

 Aseptic Techniques during Specimen Collection

  •  Absolute alcohol is not a very effective sterilizing agent, as at this concentration its power of penetration is very poor.
  • When diluted with distilled water to a concentration of 70%, however, it is becomes effective as a skin sterilizer and is used prior to inoculations or venipuncture.

 Mode of action of antiseptics works as sterilizing agent by the following lethal mechanisms

  • Interfering with the enzymatic system of the organism(enzyme poison)
  • Disrupt of the cell membrane
  • Coagulation of protein
  • Oxidation

 Always prepare daily antiseptic in small quantities for use.

 Importance of antiseptic to sterilize collecting sites

  • Cleaning of the skin before puncturing
  • To wipe off micro organisms
  • Reduces introduction of micro organism to the body

 2. Skin disinfection

  • To remove micro organisms from the skin.
  • Reduces risk of introducing micro organisms in the body.
  • Hand washing is essential to laboratory staff after any procedure involving close contact with the patient.
  • Gloves must be worn every time when attending patient, collecting sample taking specimen from one area to another.

4. Wearing of Protective Equipment’s

Protective equipment’s save as barrier from getting contaminations and infections. protective Equipment’s such as Gloves, Apron, Masks, Gowns, Gumboots, and Laboratory coat.

  •  Protect us from getting infections and contaminations.

Read also: Handling of Routine Specimens

5. Disposable of  wastes in Containers

In the laboratory we use Containers that have the color code include yellow, black, and red . also the Safety sharp box used to dispose Sharps materials(needles, syringes).

  • The waste disposal in the laboratory reduce the transmission of micro organisms.
  • Protect patients and laboratory personnel’s from contaminations.
  • Ensure safety and protection.

6. Sterilization

  • Kill all micro organism that found in the Equipment’s and materials.

7. Hand washing

  • Before and after attending a patient
  • After removing gloves
  • When hands are visibly dirty for any reason
  • After contact with blood or body fluids

 Steps of Hand Washing

  • Place soap on the palms under running water
  • Rub surfaces vigorously for at least 10 seconds
  • Rinse both hands under running water
  • Dry the hands with a drier of disposable absorbent paper

Aseptic Techniques during Specimen Collection

Image Source: ASCP

Advantages of hand washing

  • Hand washing helps stops the spread of germs between patients and between staff and patients
  • It protects both the patients and the caregivers
  • The most important precaution for the prevention of infections
  • Washing hands with soap and water eliminates microorganisms from the skin and hands

Sterile of Containers

  • Are containers which are free from micro organisms they can be commercially acquired or prepared (sterilized).

 Specimen which are collected in sterile container

o All Specimens which needs culture

  • Urine
  • Cerebral spinal fluids
  • Effusions
  • Blood
  • Puss
  • Sputum

 Importance of using sterile containers

  •  It helps to isolate micro organisms from the specimen and not contaminants
  •  It helps to isolate the intended/suspected micro organism from the specimen
  •  Validates the origin of the isolate
Significance of Aseptic Conditions during Specimen Collection

 Aseptic technique is so important to avoid cross contamination and the potential spread of microorganism in the laboratory such as:

  • Avoids specimen contamination
  • Avoid contamination to the client
  • Avoid contamination to specimen handler
  • Avoids contamination to the site of specimen collection



  • Baker F.J and Silverton R.E (1985). Introduction to Medical Laboratory Technology. Sixth Ed. Butterworth London
  • Carter J, Lema O(1994)Practical laboratory manual for health centres in eastern Africa. AMREF
  • Cheesbrough M (1987). Medical Laboratory Manual for Tropical Countries. Volume 1 2nd Ed. ELBS Butterworth, Heinemann Ltd, Oxford
  • Cheesbrough M (1998). District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries. Part 1. Tropical Health Technology, Gapson Papers Ltd, NOIDA, India
  • Cheesbrough M (2000). District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries. Part 2. Tropical Health Technology, Cambridge University Press UK

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