Endoscope Disinfection Controversy Continues

Article

NEW YORK - The proper disinfection of endoscopes has reached national media. After a recent Pseudomonas outbreak at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, more attention is being paid to the proper cleaning of these delicate medical instruments.

Healthcare officials were interviewed last week by reporters on ABC's morning program, "Good Morning America." They reported that 15 million endoscopic procedures are performed in the United States annually, with the chance of become infected from a contaminated endoscope being one in 1.8 million,

However, other officials disagree. David Lewis, a microbiologist with the University of Georgia, reportedly told officials on the program that the infection rate could be as high as several patients per 100 procedures.

Tracing a specific microbe or bacteria back the endoscope after a patient becomes ill can be a difficult process, potentially altering the true infection rates.

Hospital officials at the Summit Surgical Center in Voorhees, N. J. are facing a lawsuit from 1,800 former patients who may have been treated with endoscopes that were not cleaned properly. The machine the center was using to clean the instruments was reportedly not working properly for a two-week period.

Officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy say endoscopes are not being cleaned to industry standards.

Officials are now pursing disposable endoscope technology to rid the procedure of potential noscomial infections.

Information from www.abc.com

Recent Videos
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Cleaning and sanitizing surfaces in hospitals  (Adobe Stock 339297096 by Melinda Nagy)
An eye instrument holding an intraocular lens for cataract surgery. How to clean and sterilize it appropriately?   (Adobe Stock 417326809By Mohammed)
Set of white bottles with cleaning liquids on the white background. (Adobe Stock 6338071172112 by zolnierek)
Association for the Health Care Environment (Logo used with permission)
Woman lying in hospital bed (Adobe Stock, unknown)
Photo of a model operating room. (Photo courtesy of Indigo-Clean and Kenall Manufacturing)
Mona Shah, MPH, CIC, FAPIC, Construction infection preventionist  (Photo courtesy of Mona Shah)
Related Content