Enhancing patient safety in endoscopy

Rainer Burkard, Managing Director of Pentax Europe, discusses the latest hygiene approaches in endoscopy, aimed at improving patient safety and improving efficiency

Hygiene is both a challenge and a priority in endoscopy. With patient safety and hygiene as key focus areas across the endoscopy community, manufacturers and clinicians are always looking for ways to improve scope design and user experience to maximise infection prevention and reduce risk. This is especially true for duodensocopes since carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) outbreaks between 2012 and 2015 were linked to the cleaning of these complex instruments following endoscopic procedures, such as endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP).

Endoscopies are common procedures, with over 20 million performed annually in the United States alone.1 According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 500,000 of these are the more complex and specialised ERCP procedures that require specially designed and optimised duodenoscopes. With so many procedures taking place, often in busy, fully booked clinics and hospital departments, accurate cleaning and disinfection is critical to minimise cross-contamination. 

Hygiene challenges

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