Cleaning Endoscopes can Prevent Endoscope Damage
Articles have been published worldwide regarding the complexity of manually reprocessing flexible endoscopes and the related concerns. Automated reprocessing and combination all-in-one enzymatic-detergent-complex cleaning concentrates can provide valuable alternatives and have demonstrated superior outcomes. These technologies can improve scope performance, protect flexible scopes from damage, while reducing the costs and risks associated with manual reprocessing. These developments have shown an increase in safety and demonstrated a decreased risk of nosocomial infections. Endoscope manufacturers have focused on improving the functionality and clinically related performance of scopes while manufacturers of washer decontaminators have focused on automating the reprocessing (cleaning, disinfection, packaging, and sterilization) process. With all these trends in mind, one main issue still remains and ongoing concern, human error. The most common human errors occur when flexible endoscopes are connected to automated endoscope re-processors (AER) and during manual cleaning. These errors occur in endoscope departments worldwide and have not be correlated to specific scopes or re-processors. Validation of these reprocessing methods and operations may be written down in Standard Operation Procedures (SOP‘s) but in fact, the verification on how close these procedures are followed may be quite difficult.
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