A medical instrument or device could be single use or reusable. Single use medical instruments or devices like syringes are not reused while reusable medical instruments or devices like endoscopes must undergo a cleaning and sterilization/disinfection process. This is essential to prevent outbreak of infections and promote patient’s safety.
Endoscopy involves examining or looking inside a person’s body, usually the digestive system, for medical reasons. This is done with the aid of an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible/rigid medical imaging tube with a light and camera attached for capturing images of the body part being examined. It is inserted through a natural opening such as the mouth cavity or the rectum.
An endoscope is a reusable medical instrument and the only medical imaging device that is inserted directly into the organ being examined. This makes it a critical medical instrument for sterilization according to Spaulding’s classification as quoted in Disinfection and Sterilization Infection Control Guidelines, 2009. After using an endoscope, it must pass through different cleaning and disinfection processes before it can be used again.
Another issue of note is it’s drying and storage after cleaning and sterilizing. Several manufacturers offer several models. Models currently available include: Steelco, Medivators, Soluscope, Escad, Afos, Wassernburg, Logiquip, and Scope-store. This list is not exhaustive.
It will be unfair to pick one model as better than all others. So in making a choice, it’s advised you consider features that relate to your organization’s specific needs, while ensuring it meets the Association of Advancement of Medical Instruments (AAMI) standards which are it’s shelf’s must be vertical to aid drainage and metal to prevent moisture retention.
Endoscopes are dried at low temperature with medical-grade air. Majority of models meet this requirement by continuously flushing the chamber with steriled HEPA-filtered air.
Storage Capacity and Compatibility
Capacity is number of endoscopes that can be stored, it ranges from as low as five to as high as sixteen. Steelco has the highest capacity of sixteen, Medivator and Arc have a capacity of ten, Soluscope has eight, while Olympus has the lowest of seven.
Compatibility varies meaning while some models can store endoscopes from other brands, other models cannot store endoscopes from other brands. Although, Olympus has the lowest capacity, it appears to be the only brand that is compatible with other brands.
DURATION OF STORAGE
The endoscope passes through the process of cleaning and sterilizing when used before it is stored for future use. Duration of storage is how long can it be stored without re-sterilizing before use. Most models are 72 hours, Soluscope is 7 days, Wassernburg is 30 days while Medivator has the longest at 31 days.
Radio Frequency ID(RFID) helps to keep track of endoscope use and ensure unauthorized persons have no access. A latest models are fitted with this technology.
Documenting the conditions of endoscopes helps to determine if they are in working conditions when needed. This feature is available at Olympus and Escad.
Other side features include smart light to indicate progress and condition of endoscope which escad has. Capacity to integrate with IT services like HIS, current models have this capacity.
Guarantee your patient’s biological safety with an effective endoscope dryer and storage.