Decontamination procedures entails three processes to thoroughly clean medical equipment. These processes include: disinfection, sterilization and antisepsis. Combination of any of these processes makes usage of medical equipment safer for the patient.
Decontamination of medical equipment is highly imperative for instruments that are inserted into a body canal. Since most of these equipment are reusable, it is a must for medical personnel to be trained in proper cleaning procedures.
One such common procedure that uses fiber optic tubes along with video processing unit is endoscopy. It is a commonly used tool for diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders. Since most of the parts used for endoscopes are reusable, staff handling it should be trained in its decontamination process as well.
Aside from training staff with the process itself, they should be knowledgeable with the types, proper usage and disposal of Endoscopy disinfectants.
Here are some of the guidelines with endoscope decontamination process.
- Clean the endoscopes before, in between patient usage, and after endoscopy procedures in dedicated rooms.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during the disinfection process. PPE includes the following:
- Gowns (preferably long-sleeved and waterproof)
- Face masks (charcoal impregnated types to reduce vapor inhalation)
- Manually disinfect the equipment, making sure they are fully immersed in the disinfectant. Remove all parts that should not be immersed. Sterilize the water bottles and connecting tubes at least once a day.
Some of the commonly used endoscope disinfectants include the following:
- The most common disinfectant used
- Does not damage the equipment, but can leave colored stains on them
- More stable alternative
- Lower vapor pressure, but can also cause colored stains on the equipment
- Peracetic acid
- Highly effective substitute to glutaraldehyde
- Electrolyzed acid water (EAW)
- The safest disinfectant
- Low production cost
- Lowered bactericidal effect in the presence of biofilms
- Properly rinse the equipment with water after disinfecting and allow it to dry. The drying process prevents microorganism growth during storage.
Should you want a more thorough discussion on these guidelines, you can always make a quick search on the internet.