Intravenous literature: Aziz, A-M. (2009) Variations in aseptic technique and implications for infection control. British Journal of Nursing. 18(1), p.26-31.
Healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are a serious concern, costing the NHS £1 billion a year and causing 5000 deaths annually despite increased funding. A contributing factor is the variety of aseptic techniques in use in different hospitals and even within a single hospital. These cause problems for healthcare workers as well as increasing the risk of HAI. This article examines a number of traditional approaches to aseptic technique, highlighting their differences and the implications for infection control. It concludes that improvement in aseptic technique could be achieved by implementation of a single unified approach to aseptic technique that can be standardized and audited annually, such as the aseptic non-touch technique (ANTT), which has been recommended for adoption throughout the UK. It ends with suggestions for measures that could be introduced and strengthened to improve aseptic technique, and ultimately reduce the rate of HAI.