Unit 2: Infection Control/Asepsis/Wounds: Terminology

Unit 2: Infection Control/Asepsis/Wounds: Terminology

Antibody – A substance produced by B lymphocytes in response to a unique antigen.

Antimicrobial – Destructive to or preventing the development of microorganism

Antiseptic – Preventing or inhibiting growth of microorganisms.

Asepsis – A condition free of viable microorganisms

Bacteriostatic – inhibition or retardation of the growth of bacteria without their destruction.

Colonization – The growth of microorganisms, esp. bacteria in a particular body site

Contagious disease – Any disease, usually an infectious disease, readily transmitted from one person to another

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Contamination – The act of contaminating, esp. the introduction of pathogens or infectious material into or on normally clean or sterile objects, spaces, or surfaces

Debridement – The removal of foreign material and dead or damaged tissue esp. in a wound

Dehiscence – A disruption, partial or complete, particularly of a closed wound (esp. a surgical wound), or of an encapsulated anatomical entity.

Disinfectants – A substance that prevents infection by killing bacteria

Endogenous – Produced or originated from within a cell or organism

Enteric precautions – way of preventing this spread. Direct contact means physical contact between people, often the hands. Indirect contact means contact with a contaminated object, such as toys, clothing, or surfaces.

Eschar – Dead matter that is cast off from the surfaces of the skin, esp. after a burn.

Evisceration – Removal of the viscera or of the contents of a cavity

Exogenous – Originating outside an organ or an organism

Exudate – Any fluid released from the body with a high concentration of protein, cells or solid debris (to sweat out)

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Granulation – The formation of granules or the condition of being granular.   Fleshy projections formed on the surface of a gaping wound that is not healing by first intention or indirection union.

Immunocompromised – Having an immune system that is incapable of a normal, full reaction to pathogens or tissue damage, as the result of a disease.

Immunosuppression – Prevention of immune responses

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Infection types: Iatrogenic –Any injury or illness that occurs because of medical care

Health care associated (formerly called nosocomial) infection- infection that was not resent or incubating at the time of admission to a health care setting

Local – an infection involving bacteria that invade the body at a specific point and remain there, multiplying, until eliminated.

Opportunistic – are a particular danger for people with AIDS. The HIV virus itself does not cause death, but the opportunistic infections that occur because of its effect on the immune system

Systemic – means affecting the entire body, rather than a single organ or body part

Medical asepsis – Procedures used to reduce the number of microorganisms and prevent their spread


Bacteria- ubiquitous one-celled organisms, spherical, spiral, or rod-shaped and appearing singly or in chains

Fungi – A fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes unicellular microorganisms such as yeasts and molds

Viruses – A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms

Neutropenia – The presence of an abnormally small number of neutrophils in the blood, usually less than 1500 per microliter

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Nosocomial infection – infection that was not resent or incubating at the time of admission to a health care setting

Occlusive – The acquired or congenital closure, or state of being closed, of a passage

Pathogen – Microorganisms capable of producing disease

Periwound – Area surrounding the wound

Purulent – Forming or containing pus

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Sepsis – the presence in tissues of harmful bacteria and their toxins, typically through infection of a wound.

Standard precautions – are a set of infection control practices used to prevent transmission of diseases that can be acquired by contact with blood, body fluids, non-intact skin (including rashes), and mucous membranes

Sterile – free from bacteria or other living microorganisms; totally clean

Surgical Asepsis – Practices that keep an area or objects free from all microorganisms non pathogenic and pathogenic including spores and viruses

Transmission based precautions:

Airborne ­- Transmitted by smaller droplet that remain in air for longer periods of time (TB patients); special room; N95 mask

Contact – anything that is in contact with infected person; medical equipment is kept in the room (BP Cuff, Stethoscope); gown and gloves

Droplet – Dedicated equipment in room; wear gloves and mask

Virulence – is a harmful quality possessed by microorganisms that can cause disease


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