The change to single-use valves and single-use accessories has been on the horizon in endoscopy decontamination for the past few years, especially with the challenges of track and trace and new communicable viruses. This has led to hospital Trusts and their infection control teams investigating the options of single-use consumables.
BSG Guidance - single-use accessories should always be used:
BGS Guidance from June 2020 refers to section 17: “Single-use accessories should always be used. The choice of single-use biopsy forceps, guidewires and cytology brushes help to minimise any possible risk of transmitting prion disease. Reusable accessories should be used only in situations where no single-use equivalent accessory exists, and they should be heat tolerant for sterilisation in the Sterile Services Department. Procedures should include a system for tracking use in each patient in these circumstances.”
Remove track and trace issues:
More and more frequently, scopes are coming back without the exact same valves that went out with, or the valves are missing completely. In some instances, the suction is blocked, or the Air/Water Valve isn’t fitting, and these are taken from another scope to finish a case. But this means that all track and trace has now been thrown out. So, how can you trace for audit purposes?
HTMI 01-06 states: “Traceability cannot be achieved if the endoscope and its accessories are not uniquely identified.”-Section 5.11. Valves are not uniquely identified as they do not carry serial numbers. Single-use valves do not need to be tracked and are key to ensuring a unique, sterile and reproducible result each time.
Available on NHSSC:
iM Med now distributes a comprehensive range of single-use valves that provide cost-effective value through NHSSC. View the full range at https://im-med.com/catalogue