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Archive March 2020 XXI, No. 3

High-tech Options In Endoscope Reprocessing

Automated leak testers, enhanced drying technology and smart storage solutions enhance the care of these intricate instruments.

Linda Beaver

Linda Beaver, RN, MSN, MHA


Gateway Endoscopy Center
CONSTANT FLOW Drying cabinets with tubing that attaches to endoscopes' channels provide continuous airflow into the scopes to lower the risk of bacteria growth.

The heavy use and repeated high-level disinfection flexible endoscopes endure can be problematic. A pinhole in an insertion tube, a drop of moisture collection in an internal channel or bioburden left to harden on the insertion tube can lead to breakdown and bacteria growth. Properly caring for your fleet of scopes is therefore critical during every step along the reprocessing pathway, which begins at the patient's bedside.

  • Pre-cleaning. Point-of-use cleaning at the bedside should begin as soon as procedures are completed. It makes the most sense to have nurses in the procedure room perform the cleaning because they're already wearing the necessary personal protective equipment. Bedside cleaning should include wiping down the insertion tube with ready-to-use, pre-saturated detergent wipes, suctioning detergent water through the scope and flushing the air/water channel with water, then air. Soak the distal tip in detergent water and flush the air/water channel with water, then air.

After the bedside cleaning is complete, place the scope in a clean plastic container for transport to the reprocessing area. We've tried some new products, such as drawstring sacks, but have opted to use plastic containers to ensure scopes don't get damaged during transit.

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