Investigators Find Lack of Proper Practices in Endoscope Disinfection and Maintenance

Medical devices used in endoscopy should be disinfected according to best practices to eliminate microorganisms on their surfaces. Brahimi, et al. (2013) sought to evaluate the practical disinfection of endoscopes. The audit was conducted Jan. 3-19, 2012, in the services using endoscopy. Data collection was done through observation and interviews of staff responsible for the disinfection of endoscopes from a predetermined rubric.

Seven services at the researchers' facility use endoscopy (Otorhinolaryngology, Pulmonary and Allergy Medicine, Allergy, General surgery, Pulmonary function tests, CPPA, Internal Medicine, Pediatric). Fifteen professionals responsible for the disinfection of endoscopes were audited; 66.7 percent are nursing graduates, 21.4 percent are instrument technicians. More than 50 percent have an average experience of 14 years.

The researchers found the following: Disinfection of endoscopes every morning before first use is achieved in 40 percent of cases. The seal is tested in 74 percent of cases. The second cleaning is never done. The final rinsing takes place with tapwater, drying with a sterile field in 40 percent  and by blowing compressed air in 20 percent  of cases. The storage unit is not cleaned and disinfected daily. Periodic maintenance of the unit is done neither by the manufacturer nor the distributor.

The researchers concluded that their audit revealed the lack of necessary materials and noncompliance with the disinfection protocol of endoscopes in some services, as well as the absence of microbiological testing.

Reference: G Brahimi, R Belkaid, A Larinouna, C Lafer, A Soukehal. Poster presentation P295 at the 2nd International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC 2013): Endoscopes maintenance: results from an audit conducted in Beni-Messous University Hospital Algiers in 2012. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2013, 2(Suppl 1):P295.