Antiseptics and disinfectants. Current issues

B TerleckyjPennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.

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EC ElsingerPennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.

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DA AxlerPennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.

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The authors address current issues regarding use of antiseptics and disinfectants with particular emphasis on the problems associated with claims made by manufacturers of various chemical agents. Other issues include the efficacy and limitations of commercial products, selecting the most appropriate formulation for proper disinfection, especially with instruments that come in contact with the patient, and preventing or minimizing iatrogenic infections in clinical practices. The authors stress that low-level and some intermediate-level disinfectants are unreliable because of their narrow safety margin and that chemical agents with a high level of activity should be used by all practitioners because of multi-drug resistant microorganisms and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).