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.
The list of top 10 Hazards for 2016 according to ECRI are as follows:
- Inadequate Cleaning of Flexible Endoscopes before Disinfection Can Spread Deadly Pathogens
- Missed Alarms Can Have Fatal Consequences
- Failure to Effectively Monitor Postoperative Patients for Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression Can Lead to Brain Injury or Death
- Inadequate Surveillance of Monitored Patients in a Telemetry Setting May Put Patients at Risk
- Insufficient Training of Clinicians on Operating Room Technologies Puts Patients at Increased Risk of Harm
- Errors Arise When HIT Configurations and Facility Workflow Do Not Support Each Other
- Unsafe Injection Practices Expose Patients to Infectious Agents
- Gamma Camera Mechanical Failures Can Lead to Serious Injury or Death
- Failure to Appropriately Operate Intensive Care Ventilators Can Result in Preventable Ventilator-Induced Lung Injuries
- Misuse of USB Ports Can Cause Medical Devices to Malfunction