Archive December 2018 XIX, No. 12

Infection Prevention: Borescopes: Your Eyes on the Inside

Shed some light on the dark side of your devices.

Rebecca Kinney

Rebecca Kinney


Steris Instrument Management Services
WATCHING YOUR INSTRUMENT CHANNELS From left to right, borescope images of possible blood residue, a kinked biopsy channel, and a scratched and damaged biopsy channel.

A borescope took these not-so-pretty pictures of the internal channels of endoscopes. These were taken after the endoscopes had been reprocessed and were deemed patient-ready. Not so fast. The scopes didn't just fail visual inspection. They (photo) bombed it. As you can see, the borescope captured possible blood residue, a kinked biopsy channel, and a damaged and scratched biopsy channel.

So what is going on inside of your device and instrument channels and lumens? If only you could see, there's moisture, debris, discoloration and scratches. Bioburden is building up. But how do you know? The answer: a borescope, which uses a small but durable high-resolution insertion tube to examine the full length of each lumen inside your equipment so you can verify what is happening in the "dark places and spaces." It does so with a small display unit that is easy for your department staff to set up, use and document findings.

Why is this important? First and foremost is patient safety. You can't use devices and instruments with bioburden and damage on patients. Not only that, but even minor damage can cause the instrument or device to not perform as intended during the procedure. This leads to surgeon dissatisfaction.

And what else do you need to know about that minor device damage you see inside your channels? It can, and often will, become major damage if you don't address it. Use the borescope to identify minor damage and send the item out for repair to avoid more costly, major damage.

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