Rigorous scope reprocessing not consistently effective — 7 study insights

A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined the flexible endoscope reprocessing effectiveness.

Cori Ofstead, of Saint Paul, Minn.-based Ofstead & Associates and colleagues, examined 20 flexible endoscopes in a longitudinal study involving borescope inspections, microbial cultures and biochemical testing.

The researchers conducted three assessments over a seven-month period. Researchers processed control endoscopes with customary practices and experimental endoscopes with a rigorous process.

Here's what you should know.

1. All endoscopes had visible irregularities.

2. Ninety-five percent of the scopes had fluid discoloration and debris in the channels.

3. Twelve scopes had microbial growth. Four scopes had no growth until after 48 hours.

4. There were no differences in culture results in either group, assessment period or endoscope type.

5. Both control and intervention endoscopes exceeded post cleaning biochemical test benchmarks.

6. Adenosine triphosphate levels were higher for gastroscopes than colonoscopies.

7. Eight-five percent of endoscopes required repair due to the findings.

Researchers concluded, "These findings bolster the need for routine visual inspection and cleaning verification tests recommended in new reprocessing guidelines."

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