Guidelines recommend that a standardized protocol consisting of cleaning, ultrasound cleaning, and sterilization should be used for the reprocessing of endoscopic accessories.
In this study, researchers investigated the efficacy of standardized reprocessing of reusable biopsy forceps used during colonoscopy.
The team’s results are published in the March issue of Endoscopy.
The researchers assessed 330 biopsy forceps during routine colonoscopy, at 10 endoscopy centers.
|99% of forceps were sterile after use once, 5, or 20 times.|
The forceps randomized to be used once, 5 times, or 20 times for colonoscopy.
The reprocessing protocol consisted of manual cleaning with an enzymatic agent, ultrasound cleaning with an enzymatic agent (30 min, 40 °C, 47 Hz), neutralization, drying, and sterilization (5 min, 134 °C). Aldehydes were not used, and the protocol did not include a disinfection step.
The team then sent the biopsy forceps to 3 microbiological institutes to be tested for the presence of organisms. Any bacteria were also identified.
The research team was able to evaluate 318 of the 330 forceps. They determined that 99% were sterile after use once, 5, or 20 times.
However, 4 forceps were contaminated with Staphylococcus epidermidis (n = 2), Bacillus licheniformis (n = 1) and Corynebacterium aquaticum (n = 2).
All of 25 forceps were sterile after being used 20 times.
Dr Jung’s team concluded, “Colonoscopy biopsy forceps can be reliably reprocessed following this standardized protocol, even without aldehydes”.