Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Center Statement on Reprocessing of Endoscopes

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Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Center Statement on Reprocessing of Endoscopes

In response to the news of the potential exposure of 179 patients in Los Angeles, California to Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, an infection resistant to most antibiotics, due to improper reprocessing of endoscopes following ERCP procedures, we want to ensure our patients and referring physicians that we hold scope reprocessing at the forefront of our Infection Control practices.  Our technicians receive extensive training administered by our manufacturer, Olympus, on the handling of our scopes and proper reprocessing techniques.  In addition to their initial training, we also have annual competencies and training sessions held in conjunction with our Olympus representative to ensure that we maintain a high level of compliance with all of their recommended manufacturer’s instructions as a means of minimizing the risk of infection.

We use state of the art reprocessors that ensure that each channel of the endoscope has been disinfected with peracetic acid and that all channels have been properly flushed.  A log is kept of each time a scope is reprocessed and the chemicals are tested each time the machines are run to ensure their effectiveness.

As an additional level of assurance that our practices are working, our Infection Control Committee requires that scopes are tested periodically after they have been reprocessed for the presence of proteins. A positive test for proteins would indicate the presence of bacteria or bodily fluids that could potentially pass from scope to patient and we have found zero scopes where proteins were found.

Scott Hamrick
Surgery Center Director