Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Edition: Infection Control - May 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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to add water. After scopes have been treated at the bedside, place them in a cinch bag or closed container to make sure they don't get damaged during transport to the reprocessing area. Closed containers or bags also protect staff from exposure to the dirty instruments. Once the scopes arrive in the dirty side of the decontamination room, they're placed in a sink, where the scope and channels are man- ually brushed, washed and rinsed again. Next, the scope is pressure- tested for leaks. At this point, the scopes are ready to be put into an automatic endoscopic reprocesser (AER) for high-level disinfecting. There are numerous manufacturers of AERs and several options of disinfectants they use. Our facility's AER uses an environmentally friendly buffered peracetic acid solution, a combination of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. In my opinion, it's a better option than acti- vated glutaraldehyde, a particularly noxious solution used in many AERs that emits fumes requiring stringent venting requirements due to employee exposure concerns. Our AERs are outfitted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) scanning technology, which allows us to know who cleaned specific scopes, when the cleaning was done and which patient the scopes were used on. Some models track that automati- cally, while others require you to fill the information in on a log. Either system works well. The machine prints out a form with a unique RFID number on it, and we place a patient sticker on the printout. After scopes are removed from the AER, move them to the clean side of the reprocessing area where they should be flushed with 70% isopropyl alcohol and purged with air. Some AER's perform this step automatically, but it's still a good idea to perform a manual alcohol push. This helps to ensure scopes will be completely dry when they 3 8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • M A Y 2 0 2 0

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