ASGE Releases New Guideline for Prevention of Infection During Endoscopy

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- With multi-society endorsement, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has published a position statement for reprocessing flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes in its journal, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (GIE).

Released in the July 2003 issue of GIE, the guideline titled, "Multi- Society Guideline for Reprocessing Flexible Gastrointestinal Endoscopes", establishes critical, semi-critical, and non-critical disinfection classifications and further defines pathogen transmission and GI endoscopy reprocessing and provides recommendations for healthcare providers and operators of endoscopic equipment.

"The reprocessing of endoscopes is an integral component of the overall endoscopy experience. This process has been and continues to be monitored by the ASGE so that the cleaning and disinfection of flexible endoscopic instruments will be maintained for the safety of any patient at any time. It is important for the public to be reassured that there is such an on-going effort," said ASGE president Christopher J. Gostout, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

The guideline stems from the Prevention of Infection during Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Consensus Conference held in 2002 by ASGE and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). This guideline is also being concurrently published in SHEA's journal, Infection Control and Healthcare Epidemiology (ICHE).

In addition to ASGE and SHEA, this new guideline is endorsed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the Society of Gastroenterological Nurses and Associates (SGNA), the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (PERI), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) and the Federated Ambulatory Surgery Association (FASA).

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), founded in 1941, is the preeminent professional organization dedicated to advancing the practice of Endoscopy. ASGE promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to Endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. ASGE, with more than 7,800 physician members worldwide, serves the medical profession and the public by developing and advocating responsible positions for the benefits of patients, the public and medical professionals.

Source: American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

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