Guideline for Reprocessing Flexible Gastrointestinal Endoscopes
- Written by SHEA, ASGE, JCAHO, ASCRS, APIC, FASA
- Tuesday, 01 July 2003
The beneficial role of gastrointestinal endoscopy for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of many digestive diseases and cancer is well established. Like many sophisticated medical devices, the endoscope is a complex, reusable instrument that requires reprocessing before being used on subsequent patients. The most commonly used methods for reprocessing endoscopes result in high‐level disinfection. To date, all published episodes of pathogen transmission related to gastrointestinal endoscopy have been associated with failure to follow established cleaning and disinfection/sterilization guidelines or use of defective equipment. Despite the strong published data regarding the safety of endoscope reprocessing, concern over the potential for pathogen transmission during endoscopy has raised questions about the best methods for disinfection or sterilization of these devices between patient uses. This document provides evidence-based guidelines for reprocessing gastrointestinal endoscopes.