Virtually all manufacturers of medical devices recommend using neutral pH enzyme detergent cleaning products for Endoscope Cleaning, and Endoscope Disinfecting.
These developments in surgical instrument cleaning detergents can improve scope performance, and protect flexible scopes from damage, while reducing the risks and costs associated with manual reprocessing. These developments have shown an increase in safety and have demonstrated a decreased risk of nosocomial infections. Endoscope manufacturers and enzymatic washer disinfector detergents have focused on improving the functionality and clinical performance of cleaning while manufacturers of washer decontaminators and washer disinfectors have focused on improving the automation of reprocessing (cleaning, disinfection, packaging, and sterilization). One main issue still remains and ongoing concern, human error. The most common human errors occur during manual cleaning and when flexible endoscopes are connected to automated endoscope cleaners using surgical instrument detergents.
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Endoscope Cleaning, Endoscope Disinfecting, Endoscope Sterilizing Product improvements by scope manufacturers require ongoing changes to reprocessing protocols and present new challenges to the reprocessing staff as well as the manufacturers of automated surgical instrument washers and disinfectors. These ongoing changes require an ongoing review of the cleaning, disinfection and sterilization protocols. Virtually all manufacturers of medical devices, inclusing endoscope cleaning sponges, recommend using neutral pH enzyme detergent cleaning products, including those used for Endoscope Cleaning and Endoscope Disinfecting. Combination "all-in-one" cleaning concentrates enzyme formulations have been shown to be more effective in preventing corrosion, removing stains, preventing hard water deposits, and removing encrusted bioburden. These neutral pH enzyme surgical instrument cleaners are safe for all metals, plastics, and elastic compounds. A pressure drop caused by leakage leads to the immediate stopping of the wash program which protects the endoscope against internal water damag. Virtually all manufacturers of medical devices, including countertop surgical instrument washers, recommend using neutral pH enzyme detergent cleaning products, including those used for Endoscope Cleaning and Endoscope Disinfecting. For the protection of scope surfaces we recommend the use of Purified Water (DI or RO de-mineralized water), at least for the final rinse treatment. A cleaning agent in neutral pH-range (less that 9) can augmented with an enzymatic cleaner. Combination all-in-one Enzymatic Surgical Instrument Cleaner detergent complexes have been shown to be highly effective. Depending on the water quality, it may be necessary to use a cleaning concentrate that softens the source water for the treatments: cold water pre-wash, detergent wash, and purified water rinse/lubrication. When the treatment processes are finished, the scopes should be removed from the reprocessor avoid corrosion. As recommended by virtually all manufacturers of Scopes Surgical Instruments and Instrument Containers alkaline cleaners that require a neutralizing agent (citric acid) should not be used as they can etch instrumentation. Aluminum is highly susceptible to etching. Dyed anodized aluminum parts are not easily identified as aluminum. High level enzymatic formulations (Enzymatic Surgical Instrument Cleaners), in combination with a high level surfactant chemical complex, have been shown to be more effective in removing stains, hard water deposits, and encrusted bioburden, while being safe to use for rigid or flexible scopes. Virtually all manufacturers of medical devices recommend using neutral pH enzyme detergent cleaning products for Endoscope Cleaning, and Endoscope Disinfecting.