The Golden Hour and Endoscopes

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Flexible Endoscopes have an elevated risk of developing biofilms, due to the long, narrow cannulas that become contaminated during the procedure. 

If the endoscope is not pre-cleaned immediately following the procedure, soils can dry and impede the cleaning and disinfection process. The insertion tube should be wiped with a prepared cleaning solution, and the solution should be flushed and suctioned through the channels of the scope.

In addition to pre-cleaning requirements, many scope manufacturers now require that scope cleaning begin within 1 hour after the pre-cleaning takes place.  According to those manufacturers’ instructions, scopes that are not appropriately pre-cleaned or have been left to dry for longer than 60 minutes after pre-cleaning must go through an extended reprocessing protocol called “delayed reprocessing”. 

These additional reprocessing steps help break down any potentially dried soils so that manual cleaning and disinfection can be effective.

Keep in mind that the “golden hour” to clean flexible endoscopes starts when the scope is removed from the patient and is pre-cleaned. Pre-clean and transport your scopes as soon as possible.

Mark Finished