The use of medical cotton swabs has increased over the years. Cotton swabs are no longer just in hospitals but in people's lives. Do you know what you should pay attention to when using cotton swabs?
Medical cotton swabs are usually packed in double-layer paper. The cotton swabs are pasteurized under high temperature and pressure, and the shelf life is usually two weeks if they are unopened.
However, in humid areas in the south, or during the plum rain season in spring, the paper is susceptible to dampness, which allows bacteria to penetrate the inside of the packaging. Therefore, the shelf life of cotton swabs at this time is likely to be only about a week.
General families don't use sterile cotton swabs very frequently. They are also unable to re-sterilize cotton swabs that are remained 24 hours after opening.
Therefore, it is recommended to use those cotton swabs as ordinary cosmetic cotton swabs, or discard them. Do not use them for wound treatment, especially for baby wound treatment.
Sterile cotton swabs are essential for skin disinfection, and the contamination of sterile cotton swabs can lead to wound infection. Some people don't think it serious if the sterile cotton swabs are contaminated by bacteria, because they believe that finally the cotton swabs are stained with some of the disinfectant such as iodine volt and alcohol.
They don't know that disinfection and sterilization are two different concepts. Disinfection is to kill pathogenic microorganisms on articles and sterilization is the complete elimination of all pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms, including spores, on articles. Sterilization involves disinfection, and disinfection is not a substitute for sterilization.
That is to say, although disinfectants such as iodine and alcohol can kill pathogenic microorganisms, if the medical cotton swabs are not sterile but carry spores and other microorganisms, the disinfectants has no effect on them. The spores can even contaminate the disinfectants. Therefore, ensuring the sterility of cotton swabs is an important measure to prevent infection.
When storing medical cotton swabs, ensure that the package is sealed. It should also be noted that medical cotton swabs should be stored in a well-ventilated room with relative humidity of less than 80% and no corrosive gases. High temperature environment should be avoided.
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