Clinical

Guidance on Decontamination of Equipment for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: 2014 Edition

The Report of a Working Party of the British Society of Gastroenterology Endoscopy Committee

June 2014

The 2008 guidance has been updated so as to incorporate the following developments:

  • The English Department of Health "Choice Frameworks for Local Policies and Procedures (CFPPs)" and equivalent documents from the devolved administrations.
  • Implications arising from moving decontamination facilities out of endoscopy units to centralised facilities, in some cases outside of the hospital campus; in particular the need to ensure a moist environment for endoscopes following last patient use and before decontamination, and conversely the maintenance of a dry storage state following decontamination and before next patient use.
  • Review of vCJD transmission risks, given that at the time of writing there are no known examples of vCJD arising as a result of endoscopy or surgery; guidance on decontamination of endoscopes following the performance of procedures in at-risk individuals is discussed, and quarantining of endoscopes is now deemed rarely necessary.
  • Some references to newer technologies such as NOTES and cholangioscopy.
  • A move away from enzymatic detergents, which have been linked to occupational dermatitis and asthma.
  • The introduction of audit tools, workforce recommendations and educational frameworks.

It is also acknowledged that there are many "stakeholders" in the field of decontamination. This, together with varying guidance from the devolved administrations, has frequently led to inconsistencies and misunderstandings. Against this background BSG Council has agreed that BSG will no longer co-ordinate revisions of its guidance, but a member of BSG Endoscopy will represent the Society on the Professional Expert Organisation Forum that has been established under the auspices of the Institute of Decontamination Sciences.

Finally Miles Allison would like to acknowledge the help and support of so many colleagues during his 12 years of involvement in this arena, in particular Tina Bradley, Helen Griffiths, Libby Thomson, Geoff Ridgway, Mike Bramble and the late Prof Don Jeffries.