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Storing scopes properly and keeping cool in the SPD

Healthcare Purchasing News
By Ray Taurasi
April 25, 2019

Q:

We recently went through a mock accreditation survey and were told that we need to find a better way to store our clean flexible scopes. After cleaning our scopes, they are placed on a towel and stored in a covered tote box. When a scope is needed, the clean scope is removed from the tote box and then soaked in Cidex before use. Why is this process problematic?

A:

Your current method for storing scopes is not an acceptable practice. When coiling scopes as you are doing there is a possibility that moisture will be retained inside the various channels in the scope, which could become a source for microbial growth and contamination. The towel you are using could also retain moisture draining from the scope. The closed storage container provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria being, dark, moist and warm. Scopes should be disinfected or sterilized immediately following the cleaning process. The longer the time lapse between cleaning and disinfection the greater the potential for microbial growth. If the microbial bio burden is too great than the efficacy of the disinfection or sterilization process would be questionable. There is also a greater chance of damaging a scope which is stored in this manner.