Cleaning Colonoscopy Equipment
Cleaning out your gastrointestinal tract before a colonoscopy is an essential component of the procedure. However, you’ve probably never given a thought to the cleanliness of the colonoscope.
Making sure the colonoscope is correctly cleaned and maintained is an important part of keeping you safe. Proper disinfection of the equipment reduces the risk of complications and knowing how to sterilize colonoscopes ensures the health of patients.
Our patients’ safety is critical, and we follow strict infection control procedures to prevent contamination and infections.
How is colonoscopy equipment cleaned?
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) publishes guidelines for the proper cleaning and sterilization of colonoscopy equipment. There are five basic steps, although there are some variations within the steps:
Manual cleaning – All equipment is cleaned by hand using special brushes and a detergent solution as soon as possible after use to remove all particles and to minimize the possibility of a bacterial biofilm developing in the scope.
High-level disinfection (or sometimes sterilization) – Using a manual process or a special colonoscope washing machine made for the specific type of scope, equipment is washed with an FDA-approved liquid chemical germicide solution.
Rinsing – All channels are flushed with large volumes of water to completely remove any trace of the liquid chemical germicides.
Drying – After thorough rinsing, the endoscope must be thoroughly dried to prevent microorganisms from growing during storage. Flushing it with a 70% alcohol solution helps the drying process and discourages the growth of organisms.
Storage – All instruments must be stored correctly to prevent contamination.
The cleaning process takes about 30 minutes per scope, and we take the cleaning of each scope very seriously. We believe you should never have to wonder if the medical equipment used on you is clean. When you trust Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio for your colonoscopy, you can trust that your health and safety are our number one goal.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for adults in America. When it’s caught early, the prognosis is good. When it’s caught before it begins, in the form of a polyp, the prognosis is excellent. Removing a polyp during a colonoscopy prevents it from becoming cancerous. That’s why colonoscopies are so important.
If you’re 45 or older, prevent colon cancer and schedule your colonoscopy today!