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Guidance on Decontamination of Equipment for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: 2014 Edition

Thursday, 10 July 2014 13:58

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.

UEG Rising Stars 2015 - nominations open

Friday, 06 June 2014 07:43

Every year, the UEG's National Societies Committee and Scientific Committee jointly select up to 10 emerging clinical scientists. Those young researchers are awarded Rising Star status based on a track record of international-quality research and developing scientific independence. This initiative provides a durable platform for young researchers to give state-of-the-art lectures and chair scientific sessions at UEG Week. The nominations process for UEG Rising Stars is open until 30 September 2014; BSG members should email the following documentation to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 1st September 2014. Two successful applicants will be supplied with mandatory supporting letters to accompany their application via the UEG website.

  • One A4 page Curriculum Vitae.
  • Listing of full papers, downloaded from Medline or PubMed.
  • A short (maximum 300 words) outline of the talk they would give at UEG Week if selected as Rising Star.

Candidates for Rising Stars 2015

  • Must be born October 1, 1973 or later.
  • Must reside in Europe or the Mediterranean area (countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea).
  • Must show at least one publication in a major journal (Journal of Hepatology, Gut, Hepatology, Gastroenterology and above) or at least 3 publications in other renowned peer-review journals. Please note that this is a minimum criterion and in practice Rising Star awardees have substantial international quality publication records.
  • May be at any academic level except full professor.
  • Have to be able to give their talk at UEG Week in English.

18th ESGENA Conference

October 18-22, 2014
ACV, Vienna, Austria

Registration for the ESEGNA Conference is now open
Online registration and the programme can be found at the link below

Updated Guidelines: Decontamination of Equipment for GI Endoscopy

Updated by: Dr Helen Griffiths (Nurse Consultant) - BSG Endoscopy Committee – November 2013

Flexible endoscopes are complex reusable instruments that require unique consideration with respect to decontamination. In addition to the external surface of endoscopes, their internal channels for air, water, aspiration and accessories are exposed to body fluids and other contaminants. In contrast to rigid endoscopes and most reusable accessories, flexible endoscopes are heat labile and cannot be autoclaved.

The Health Act was published in 2006 and updated in 2010. This stipulates the roles of decontamination leads and decontamination programmes. It emphasises the need for staff to be trained in decontamination processes and to hold appropriate competencies for their role. It decrees the need for monitoring systems to ensure that decontamination processes are fit for purpose and meet required standards. Finally it requires that there are systems in place for tracking reusable medical devices (such as endoscopes and reusable accessories) through decontamination processes, not only to assist with assuring their quality, but also to enable the identification of patients on whom the medical devices have been used.

The 6th Working Party met in 2006 to consider new developments and recommendations, including (a) the optimal modes for decontaminating water bottles and endoscope valves (pistons); (b) the latest recommendations for reducing the risks of endoscopic transmission of vCJD, including the tracking of equipment; and (c) updated recommendations on drying and storage of endoscopes, given the evolving range of purpose-built chambers designed for this purpose. The resulting guidelines below (February 2008) are in the process of being updated to take into account recent changes in decontamination practice and national and European policy changes and should be available on the website by the end of 2013.

Decontamination Alert - August 2013

Thursday, 22 August 2013 08:19

Choice Framework for local Policy and Procedures 01-06: Decontamination of flexible endoscopes details that manufacturer's instructions must be followed at all times when using an Endoscope Washer Disinfector (EWD), and selecting chemicals for use.

All units are asked to check that the chemicals (detergents and disinfectants) used in their EWDs are those tested by the machine manufacturer at the type-test stage with supporting evidence of efficacy. Under no circumstances should a chemical (i.e. disinfectant) be used that was not included in the type test data for that machine, this supports the need to follow manufacturer's instructions, as non-type tested chemicals may damage the internal mechanics of the EWD, therefore a possible risk to patients may occur.

If you are unsure which chemicals are recommended in your EWD please speak to your manufacturer requesting information specifically on 'type tested' chemicals.

Dr Helen Griffiths

Nurse Consultant Gastroenterology

Decontamination representative BSG Endoscopy Committee

On behalf of the Professional Expert Communications Forum: Decontamination of Medical Devices.

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