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Archive February 2019 XX, No. 2

Hang Time

How long can endoscopes remain in storage before you should reprocess them again?

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson, BSN, RN, CSSM, CRCST, CER


Kevin Anderson BSN, RN, CSSM, CRCST, CER
JUST HANGING OUT How many days can a reprocessed endoscope hang in storage before you should reprocess it?

How long can an endoscope hang in storage before you have to reprocess it again? There's no definitive answer, but 7 days is the consensus storage interval based on research and expert recommendations. Our facility's leaders agreed that 7 days is an acceptable limit. We tag each scope with the date that we hang it in our cabinet so staff know at a glance when 7 days have passed (see "How Long Have Your Scopes Been Hanging?" on page 72).

Barcode scanning is an effective, albeit more expensive, way to track storage interval, but the technology is still prone to human error — a tech must scan the scope when hanging it in a cabinet to create a digital record of the storage starting date. If you want to automate the entire process, some newer storage cabinets come with integrated RFID sensors that scan and timestamp RFID-enabled endoscopes.

We based our 7-day cutoff on the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates' recommendation and the oft-cited 2015 review of endoscope storage time studies ( that suggests you don't need to reprocess an "effectively reprocessed and appropriately stored" scope if you use it within a week.

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