Demand for endoscopic procedures continues to grow, driven by an aging population and efforts to reduce healthcare costs, while related infection risks continue to be an industry concern. In this fast-paced environment, there is no room for inefficiency—or for errors. And, FDA has even greater concerns about the effectiveness of current endoscope cleaning processes, now requiring three times more samples for validation (in other words, nine samples to test instead of the usual three).
Given the concerns and the challenges to remove all the disparate soils and even lubricant from flexible endoscopes, Case Medical developed the Case Solutions® Endoscope Bedside Kit for pre-treatment in procedure rooms, PentaZyme® multi-enzymatic cleaner for manual and automated cleaning of endoscopes, and instrument brushes designed specifically for channels and lumens.
Tools to get the job done
One critical topic in endoscope reprocessing is enzymatic action and the need for multiple enzymes to help loosen and dissolve the many types of soils found on (and inside of) flexible endoscopes. Typically, the enzymatic cleaners most effective for cleaning (and pre-cleaning) gastrointestinal endoscopes contain many of the same enzymes found in our digestive system to breakdown food stuffs, such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber. The complete removal of these residuals also requires mechanical action and friction, especially for the procedural lubricant.
Current practice consists of a water wipe down or a kit with a sponge using enzymatic solution in an open plastic bag or basin. If wiped in a back and forth motion, the sponge can spread the soil, including insoluble lubricant, that it’s intended to remove. The remaining liquid, in whatever volume, is then suctioned through the channels.
Case Medical offers the Case Solutions® Endoscope Bedside Kit, an alternative that is effective, eliminates the mess, and is compact and easy to store in each procedure room. A pack of three pre-moistened Penta Wipes disposable wipes provides one, two, three single pass wipes from clean (proximal) to dirty (distal) end of the endoscope to remove gross soil. The wipes provide the friction needed for removal. The 250 ml bottle of ready to use, U.S. EPA Safer Choice-awarded PentaZyme solution is exactly proportioned to suction through the lumens and channels. The enzymes begin working immediately, even before the endoscope is transported for further processing.
Set up for success
Reprocessing a flexible endoscope according to the manufacturer’s IFU is highly complex and can require well over 100 distinct steps. According to one expert, “...the goal…is to not only understand and be able to execute all of the steps of the manual cleaning process, but to really grasp the principles underlying the whole process…”
It takes pre-cleaning, manual cleaning, and automated processes, building one upon the other, to deliver a patient-ready endoscope. We know that there is no room for error when following the dozens of steps required for endoscope reprocessing, and we can all agree that pre-cleaning compliance improves the effectiveness of subsequent processing steps.
When you develop your endoscope reprocessing protocol and procedures, you don’t need to compromise efficiency or effectiveness. You can choose Case Medical’s powerful multi-enzymatic solutions in easy to use formats and get sustainable, U.S. EPA Safer Choice awarded chemistries. Comment below or contact Case Medical for additional information.