Historically, safety in endoscopy unit has focused on infection control, particularly around the reprocessing of endoscopes. Two highly publicized outbreaks in which the transmission of infectious agents were related to GI endoscopy have highlighted the need to address potential gaps along the endoscopy care continuum that could impact patient safety.
ECRI Institute put cross-contamination from flexible endoscopes on the list of the top ten technology hazards for the past 3 years – it’s a sign that cross- contamination from improperly reprocessed endoscopes remains a significant and serious concern.
Reasons for Endoscope- related Infections:
- Failure to follow established reprocessing Guidelines
- Inadequate cleaning
- Improper selection or dilution of disinfecting agents
- Inadequate staff training and quality assurance
- Failure to use proper equipment during reprocessing.
AACI has developed this clinical standard based on its long experience and the most common nonconformities raised during the last 15 years in the endoscopy units all around the world. The objective of this standard is to provide guidelines for precleaning, leak-testing, cleaning, storage, high-level disinfecting, and/or sterilizing of flexible gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes, flexible bronchoscopes, surgical flexible endoscopes (e.g., flexible ureteroscopes), and semi-rigid operative endoscopes (e.g., choledochoscopes) in health care facilities.
These standards are intended to provide comprehensive information and direction for health care personnel in the processing of these devices and accessories.