In this article, Pentax Medical explains how a new brushless solution could offer an alternative to manual pre-cleaning, while addressing hygiene and sustainability challenges faced in daily clinical practice.
Endoscopy continues to witness a number of important innovations that contribute to even better clinical outcomes. At the same time, there are still significant opportunities for further improving patient safety and infection prevention in the field. Given the constantly changing environment of medical device reprocessing, which is marked by a heightened consciousness of the overall environmental impact of healthcare and endoscopy, coupled with a shortage of hospital staff following COVID-19, the need to enhance the decontamination of endoscopes has become increasingly critical.
Reusable and semi-disposable endoscopes are advanced devices with multiple lumens and narrow channels. They are often used in standard endoscopic procedures, such as routine gastrointestinal examinations or bronchoscopies, where risk of infection is lower and patient throughput is higher. Infection risk is considered lower in these procedures because endoscopes come into contact with intact mucous membranes but do not ordinarily penetrate sterile tissue.1
If the infection risk is lower, it is not inexistant – infections can stem from several sources, from staff clothing to floor and surface cleaning but also from the equipment used during procedures if it is handled inexpertly. The reprocessing of endoscopes is required after each procedure to ensure the contaminated instruments are safe for reuse.2
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