Improve your medical device cleaning and reprocessing through education

This year contaminated flexible endoscopes have reached the number one spot as the highest Health Technology Hazard, according to the 2016 ECRI institute’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards report. Flexible scopes were fourth on the list in 2015 and sixth on the list in 2014.

In addition to this alarming news the FDA ordered Custom Ultrasonics to recall all of its endoscope reprocessors. The recall is the FDA’s latest move to reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria via dirty endoscopes, particularly duodenoscopes. There have been at least six outbreaks (some of which resulted in patients dying) of multidrug-resistant bacteria associated duodenoscopes, even when the proper reprocessing instructions were followed. Read more

Contaminated flexible endoscopes: A hazard

According to Mark Duro (AORN; 2016) we can improve our medical device reprocessing through education and audits. In September 2015 the CDC (Centres for Disease Control) and the FDA in America issued a health advisory urging hospitals to assess their medical device decontamination processes. The focus point of this advisory was to ensure that all staff that are reprocessing medical devices have been adequately trained in reprocessing. According to the CDC and the FDA staff should be trained when they are first employed, when new devices are purchased, when manufactures instruction are changed (as is the case with duodenoscopes) and they should have a refresher course annually. This training should be hands-on as all staff need to physically demonstrate they are able to decontaminate particular devices. Although it is critical that staff have theoretical knowledge (for example knowledge gained from the CSSD Foundation Course sponsored by SafMed) it is equally as important that staff demonstrate physical competencies. Read more