Study: Endoscope Reprocessing Errors Are Widespread

Gastrointestinal endoscope reprocessing lapses are widespread and long-lasting, despite available guidelines, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control.

A review of peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed literature revealed lapses in all major steps of endoscope reprocessing in various types of facilities from 2005 to 2012. Furthermore, except in one instance, each lapse lasted for several months or years until the problem was discovered.

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All reported lapses were found in governmental reports, legal documents, conference abstracts and media reports, save for one report in a peer-reviewed journal article. The lack of reporting in peer-reviewed journals creates an inaccurate perception that endoscope reprocessing errors occur only rarely, according to the authors. They suggested enhancing reporting requirements and conducting investigations to develop better evidence-based policies and practices.

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