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Flexible endoscopes are a challenge to cleanÂ disinfect and sterilize. Modern machines such as AERs are effective tools for rendering scopes safe for use on the next patient, but what about the endoscope that is not used for multiple days? Is that scope hanging in the closet still safe for use? Healthmark Industries Co., Inc. has developed a toolkit to help out: the HangTimeKit.
The first step in managing scope storage is to know when they were last reprocessed. For that purpose, the kit includes HTKLabels. Each label is imprinted with the 12 months and with the number 1-31, representing the possible 31 days in a month. Simply circle the month and date when the scope is reprocessed and wrap the tag on the scope with the self-looping design. When the scope is next used, note the date of last reprocessing in your records.
What about a scope that has been stored for more than a couple of days -- is it still safe? For that, the kit includes the HTKTest. This simple and rapid test checks for Gram-negative bacteria that might have grown out during storage. Utilizing a unique enzyme detection method, the easy to read fluorometer checks for possible colony formation by reading telltale fluorescence in the recaptured water. If the fluorometer reading is positive for Gram-negative bacteria, reprocess the endoscope following manufacturer guidelines prior to use.