Decontamination is an integral part of the healthcare industry. With a lot of reusable equipment and devices used on a daily basis, it is imperative to ensure that these devices are clean enough before using on the next patient.
Depending on the equipment, different methods and detergents are used to ensure all the debris and microorganisms are removed. Any debris that is left on the surface serves as a suitable medium for microorganism growth and proliferation, causing harm to the next user.
With endoscopes, it is very important to choose the right detergent and cleaning method. They are classified as semi-critical devices since they come in contact with mucous membranes. Aside from that, they contain fiber optics and video processing units. Extreme care should be done to avoid damaging the vital aspects of the device.
What then should technicians consider then in choosing the appropriate detergents for cleaning endoscopes? https://im-med.com/ has examples of such detergents, but it is best to get to know the criteria beforehand.
- Avoid using foaming detergents with endoscopes.
Contrary to popular notion that more foam means better cleaning of materials, it is best to use nonfoaming types of detergents with endoscopes.
Foaming simply prevents good fluid contact with surfaces, inhibiting thorough clean of the device. Also, it blocks the personnel’s line of sight, increasing risk of injury.
- You may use detergents that contain enzymes and antimicrobial substances. It is not imperative, but it is a better option to take note.
- Detergent should be able to effectively loosen debris so that the flushing action of the detergent and the water rinsing process can remove it.
- Avoid using these kinds of detergents on endoscopes. They only cause either coagulation of protein, or chemical reactions leading to colored residue formation.
- Detergents containing aldehydes (denatures and coagulates proteins)
- Amine-based detergents, or glucoprotamine plus glutaraldehyde (causes formation of colored residues)
These are just some guidelines on choosing the right detergent for cleaning endoscopes. For safety purposes, it is best to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on the appropriate detergent.