By Nalini M Guda MD, FASGE, AGAF

WEO Newsletter Editor

 

As our readers will be aware, there have been recent outbreaks in Carbepenam Resistant Enterococcal (CRE) infections related to the use of duodenoscopes and some echoendoscopes. The elevator mechanism was thought to be the problem and the complex mechanism too difficult to clean, despite the use of high level disinfection (please refer to recent article by Dr. Andrew Ross).

Most endoscope manufacturers are working on alternate scope designs to minimize risk of transmission of infection.  Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a new duodenoscope with a disposable cap to help easier cleaning of the scope and to minimize the risk of infection. The new scope is manufactured by Pentax Medical, New Jersey, USA.  Please click on the following link for the press release by the FDA:

This is a step forward in increasing the safety of the procedures we offer to our patients. Other scope manufacturers are likely to come with alternate options. It is to be seen if this change in scope design results in anticipated decreased risk in disease transmission.  Cost implication data are not available.  In the meantime, all endoscopy units are to reprocess the scopes per the manufacturers’ recommendations/high level disinfection protocols. We will continue to keep our readers up-to-date with any important developments in this field.

 

Cover picture: Pentax duoendoscope (Image courtesy, Pentax Medical, NJ, USA)