Study Shows Existing Flexible Endoscopes Reprocessing Techniques Insufficient for Bacteria Removalby iData Research February 15, 2017
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According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, current techniques used to clean endoscopes for reuse are not consistently effective. The ongoing problem that has plagued scope manufacturers and users starts up front, with solid contaminants that remain in scopes that sterilization does not completely remove. The findings of this study support the need for careful visual inspection and cleaning verification tests to ensure that all endoscopes are free of damage and debris before they are high-level disinfected or sterilized and used on another patient.
“The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is concerned about the risk of infections related to endoscopic procedures,” said Linda Greene, RN, MPS, CIC, FAPIC, 2017 APIC president. “This study reinforces the importance of having strong infection prevention and control programs at all types of facilities, led by highly trained infection preventionists, to ensure that facilities are following the latest evidenced-based guidance.”
Currently, flexible endoscopes, including gastrointestinal, urological, and respiratory endoscopes, are reused following cleaning and high-level disinfection. However, results from the new study conducted by Ofstead & Associates, Inc., suggest that even more rigorous reprocessing techniques of endoscopes are not consistently effective, and organic residues often remain.
“Understanding issues with the effectiveness of reprocessing techniques is critically important as institutions seek to improve the quality of endoscope cleaning and disinfection,” said lead study author Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, Ofstead & Associates, Inc. “Even though top-notch methods were used, the endoscopes in this study had visible signs of damage and debris, and tests showed a high proportion were still contaminated.”
The results of the study suggest a change in protocol. According to Ofstead, their findings suggest that technicians should examine every endoscope with lighted magnification before use on another patient. The findings also support new recommendations made by AORN and AAMI/ANSI regarding the routine use of biochemical tests to verify that cleaning is effective. These ATP and protein tests quickly give results and are fairly inexpensive. This processing can detect solid soil cleaning failures so the scope can be re-cleaned before disinfection or sterilization.
“Technicians in many institutions are being asked to do more with less, and that pressure is not compatible with the need to do a more rigorous job to ensure patient safety,” said Ofstead. “Our study was done in a best-case-scenario setting, with trained technicians using top-notch reprocessing equipment and materials. In many institutions, this is not the case.”
Fixing this problem is going to take a commitment from hospitals and clinics to increase sterilization operating and capital budgets.
For Further Information
More on the GI endoscopy market in the U.S. can be found in a series of reports published by iData Research entitled the US Market Report Suite for Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Devices 2017 – MedSuite. The suite covers reports on the following markets: GI flexible endoscopy, capsule endoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), stenting and dilation, biopsy, specimen and foreign-body removal, hemostasis, enteral feeding, anti-reflux, and Barret’s Esophagus.
The iData report series on GI endoscopic devices covers the U.S. and 15 countries in Europe including Germany, France, the United Kingdom (U.K.), Italy, Spain, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg), Scandinavia (Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway), Portugal, Austria and Switzerland. Reports provide a comprehensive analysis including units sold, procedure numbers, market value, forecasts, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analysis of major players’ success strategies in each market and segment. To find out more about GI market data or procedure data, register online or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a US Market Report Suite for Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Devices 2017 – MedSuite brochure and synopsis.
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