Here's a rundown of two solutions, a machine that's on the horizon and a channel-cleaning accessory that may enhance the speed and efficacy of your endoscope-reprocessing throughput.
Five-minute soak times
Two high-level disinfection solutions - Advanced Sterilization Products' (ASP) Cidex OPA and Olympus's Rapicide - now tout five-minute soak times in your automated endoscope reprocessor.
- Cidex OPA. ASP hasn't changed the 12-minute Cidex OPA it launched in 1999, but testing at higher temperatures let the company introduce the label claim of an efficacious five-minute soak at 25'C last year. Cidex OPA is the only non-glutaraldehyde solution approved for five minutes, says Josh Hagerman, ASP's marketing manager of biocide products.
"Higher temperatures will slightly increase vapors, but they remain well below any effect threshold," says Mr. Hag-erman. "But Cidex OPA produces almost no vapors at room temperature. Furthermore, using it in a closed system virtually eliminates user-exposure risk."
- Rapicide. When heated to 35'C, glutaraldehyde-based Rapicide's five-minute disinfection is a 15-minute cycle-time improvement over standard 14-day glutaraldehydes, says Olympus. "Plus, Rapicide requires only two rinses, further reducing your cycle time," says Frank Canonica, the senior product manager in cleaning and disinfection at Olympus.
The company says Rapicide is compatible with Olympus flexible endoscopes and automatic reprocessors by Medi-vators; there's no activation or mixing. The knock on glutaraldehyde is the strong fumes it emits, but Mr. Canonica says several reprocessor accessories can eliminate this problem.
"The active system has a strong exhaust fan that draws fumes from inside the disinfector cabinet and disinfection stations through an activated charcoal filter, [which] adsorbs the germicide and returns clean air to the reprocessing room," he says. "The passive system uses the passing air stream inside an HVAC duct to create suction that draws fumes from the disinfector to the duct and to the outside of the building."
Here's news on a new scope reprocessor and a channel-cleaning accessory.
- Soluscope 3. Manufactured by Marseille, France-based Solu-scope, the Soluscope 3 should be available in the United States in early 2005. The automatic reprocessor will feature channel control, barcoding, single-shot chemistry and a 20-minute cycle time, according to Fred Dray, a managing director at Soluscope.
"Our Soluscope 3 is one of three reprocessors worldwide complying with the future ISO 15883-4 for washer/disinfectors for flexible endoscopes," says Mr. Dray. The European Committee for Standardisation of the EU has established rules to confirm the chemical disinfection of thermolabile endoscopes by washer-disinfectors, and the prEN ISO 15883-4 outlines these performance requirements and test methods.
- System 83 Plus. Custom Ultrasonics added to its System 83 Plus automated washer/disinfector a high-pressure channel adaptor that allows for 25 psi to 30 psi through two channels on each scope. The other channels get the standard 8 psi to 10 psi. If you don't want a new machine, you can buy just the adaptor, which can be retrofitted.
"It's effective for cleaning the specialty channels, such as the biopsy channel or the ERCP elevator wire," says George Raudenbusch, a product manager at Custom Ultrasonics, "regardless of manufacturer."
Disinfection products evolve, but your scopes remain the same - so consult your scopes' maker to ensure they're compatible with new products.