Inner damage to endoscopes could jeopardize cleanliness — 4 insights

Damage to the instrument channels of endoscopes could jeopardize device cleanliness, according to a study presented at Digestive Disease Week 2017, May 6-9 in Chicago, Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News reports.

Adarsh Thaker, MD, a UC Los Angeles fellow, and colleagues used a prototype digital video camera to examine the instrument channel of 59 duodenoscopes, gastroscopes, echoendoscopes and colonoscopes. Researchers recorded up to 120-second inspection videos.

Researchers inspected the scopes after manual cleaning and high-level disinfection. Scopes were also sterilized. Duodenoscopes and echoendoscopes were both subjected to a manual air blowout with forced air drying. Those scopes were hung in a passive ventilation cabinet overnight.

Five experts reviewed the videos, scoring for a variety of quality-and damage-related factors. All scopes were under 3 years old, and 16 new devices were included.

Here's what you should know:

1. All the scopes had damage:

  • 86 percent experienced scratches
  • 59 percent were shredded
  • 59 percent were discolored

2. Moisture and fluid were observed in 8 percent of inspections. While both were common in gastroscopes (36 percent) and colonoscopes (33 percent), neither was found in duodenoscopes or echoendoscopes.

3. Scopes that underwent forced air drying had no visible moisture.

4. Two of four new duodenoscopes and nine of 12 new echoendoscopes had visible scratches. One of four duodenoscopes and eight of 12 new echoendoscopes had shredding.

Researchers concluded the inspection showed the importance of forced air drying.

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