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DECONTAMINATION


disinfector is not in direct contact with the patient. Thus, any risk to the patient would be linked either to contamination due to an improperly reprocessed probe, to chemical burns due to disinfectant residuals on an improperly rinsed probe, or to electric shock in case of electrical leakage of the probe. A well-designed automated washer- disinfector should prevent these risks.


l Manual precleaning of probes is essential:40-43


This reduces the number


of organisms on devices and removes organic material that can promote biofilm formation. Organic material also may inactivate chemical disinfectants. Delays in cleaning also may result in drying of materials. The protocols for this step are given by the probe manufacturers.


Conclusion To conclude, although procedures involving transesophageal ultrasound probes are associated with a low rate of patient infection, they can be a potential source of infection from contaminated equipment. Dedicated automated washer-disinfectors represent a great advance compared to manual procedures. l The automated process standardises important reprocessing steps. As a result, it increases patient safety by reducing the likelihood that an essential step will be skipped, or its duration shortened.


l The automated washer-disinfector is a closed system and thus minimises personnel exposure to the liquid chemical germicide and its vapors.


l A high-performance water filtration system and self-disinfection cycle reduce the likelihood that the automated washer- disinfector, probe and patient will become contaminated with opportunistic waterborne microorganisms. Such water is equally suited for the final rinse destined to remove all the disinfectant remaining on the probe, thus protecting the patient from injury.


l It offers audible and visible alarms when a safety fault is detected.


l It provides documentation of important reprocessing parameters as required by quality assurance, and preferably digital traceability solutions.


l As shown by an observational study in endoscopy, automated reprocessing achieves 75% guideline adherence as compared to manual reprocessing with only 1.4% compliance.44


About the author Guidelines are


currently moving towards mandating the use of automated washer-disinfectors. CSJ


*Also abbreviated as ‘TEE’ probes outside the UK.


References for this article are available upon request


Erica Taube PhD has been working for Soluscope since 2009. In the Scientific Affairs Department, her role is to manage the clinical evaluations of the company’s medical devices, and to provide scientific evidence for the sales and marketing teams. Soluscope (an Ecolab company) designs and manufactures automated endoscope and TOE probe washer-disinfectors as well as drying and storage cabinets.


SEPTEMBER 2020


WWW.CLINICALSERVICESJOURNAL.COM l


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