Thinking of Buying: Endoscope Storage Cabinets


Size, capacity and drying method are the most important features.

Ensuring that reprocessed endoscopes are completely dry during storage remains an important patient safety topic in the world of endoscopy. Residual moisture in and around endoscopes promotes the growth of organisms and increases the risk of infectious outbreaks. As a result, the storage cabinets in which reprocessed scopes reside until their next case have come under increased scrutiny. The latest cabinets on the market today approach the drying of endoscopes in different ways.

Some offer passive ventilation, others active ventilation, and still others provide forced filtered air that moves through the channels of each scope. All of those options are based on currently available reprocessing recommendations, so your facility will need to decide how vigilant to be with the ventilation and drying of scopes in storage. Let’s take a closer look at these three drying approaches:

  • Passive. The cabinet is ventilated, but there is no airflow being directed through the cabinet.
  • Active. Filtered air is circulated throughout the cabinet, but not through the endoscope channels.
  • Forced-air systems. The cabinet comes with a built-in forced-air system or offers the option to fit a forced-air system that delivers pressure-regulated filtered air through attachments that hook up directly to each scope’s channels, which may lower the risk of incomplete drying and proliferation of organisms.

There remains a relative lack of high-level, evidence-based data that compares these three types of systems with endoscope contamination. Generally, all three remain effective options for storage based on available guidelines, but endoscopes always should be stored per their manufacturer’s instructions.

However, it should be noted that based on the most recent AAMI ST91 update in 2021, all endoscopes should be dried with forced filtered air for 10 minutes before going into storage. That means scopes should be precleaned, manually cleaned and placed in an automated endoscope processor (AER), where they undergo high-level disinfection. That is typically followed with an alcohol flush, and then a short purge of air. The AAMI ST91 update now recommends an additional, separate drying process lasting 10 minutes involving forced-filtered air being pushed through all endoscope channels. Typically, that step will occur in the reprocessing area near the AER.

If drying is executed properly, the interior channels of the scope should be dry and ready to be placed in storage, which should be physically separate from the reprocessing area and all procedure rooms.

Theoretically, that means forced-air drying systems within the cabinet to dry the scopes are somewhat redundant, because that already should have been achieved with forced-air drying per updated recommendations. It remains unclear whether forced-air ventilation provides additional yield in this setting, but it may provide an added layer of reassurance that scopes will continue to dry if they were not completely dried before being stored or remain dry if drying was already achieved.

Beyond this important consideration of the drying capabilities of the cabinet, the cabinet’s size and capacity are also factors to consider. Endoscopy units vary in terms of physical space and procedural volume, as do the sizes of their endoscope fleets. After determining the type of storage system you want, examine the spatial footprint of the cabinet and make sure you have the space needed to accommodate it in a dedicated area. Additionally, see if the number of scopes the cabinet can safely store in the proper fashion — meaning that, at full capacity, no scopes touch each other, which could lead to cross-contamination — syncs well with your fleet size and workflow.

There are some additional features available with some cabinets that might be of interest to your facility.

  • “Smart” capabilities. Some cabinets electronically log how long a scope has been hanging and inform staff that it needs to be reprocessed because its “shelf life” expired. Some will track the locations of each endoscope using RFID tags. Cabinets with forced-air drying systems might offer automated drying times that activate at the touch of a button and stop after a predetermined length of time, relieving busy staff from the need to manually shut off a specific scope’s drying system at the correct time.
  • Security. If the cabinet is not housed in a locked location, added security features are a must. Cabinets variously offer a simple lock and key up to electronic security systems that only provide access to authorized personnel. Some cabinets can log the staff members who have accessed scopes. Keep in mind, however, that your cabinet’s security system should provide authorized users with relatively easy access to the scopes inside, considering those providers will probably be storing and retrieving scopes several times a day. 
  • Adapters. If you’re considering a forced-air cabinet system, make sure the adapters that connect the drying system to internal channels are compatible with your specific endoscopes.

As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of variability on several levels among the endoscope storage cabinets available on the market, and as you add more advanced capabilities, the cost will rise. Each endoscopy unit will need to weigh the available options carefully and ultimately determine which system best fits their needs, allowing for safe and efficient patient care. OSM


ARC Healthcare Solutions
EC10H Size: 78” H x 36” W x 20” D
Capacity: 10 endoscopes
FYI: • 844-303-4701

This stainless-steel cabinet stores scopes in a horizontal rather than vertical configuration. According to the vendor, this enables 10 endoscopes to be stored in a cabinet with a footprint half the size of what would be needed to store them vertically. Scope exteriors are maintained in laminar flow HEPA air, while scope channels are purged with 0.2 micron filtered air. Timers monitor the storage time of each endoscope in the cabinet, which features easy-to-load pull-out trays, a removable lower drip pan, integrated storage for components required for purge connections to the scopes and touchscreen control with interlock.


Stainless Steel SureDry High Volume 16 Scope Cabinet with Dri-Scope Aid 
Size: 93” H x 44” W x 24” D
Capacity: 16 endoscopes
FYI: • 800-433-4064
Designed for easier scope hanging and retrieval at high-volume facilities, this unit has a positive pressure push/pull system of HEPA-filtered air that flows in a circular motion to quickly and evenly dry exteriors of every scope. Also included is Tricor Systems’ Dri-Scope Aid, which supplies HEPA-filtered air to dry scopes’ internal channels. HEPA filters can be replaced without removing scopes, allowing drying cycles to continue uninterrupted. Available in numerous colors, this cabinet features tempered glass double doors and multiple locking options.


InnerSpace, a Solaire Medical company
Size: 92” H x 36” W x 19.25” D (largest model, pictured)
Capacity: Up to 18 endoscopes
FYI: • 888-435-2256
This cabinet features timed drying and continuous venting cycles, along with an intuitive interface that displays real-time information such as scope locations; drying, venting and storage times; and temperature and humidity levels within the cabinet. It can be operated manually using a 10-inch touchscreen on the cabinet or through a security and automation option that adds a barcode scanner to the cabinet. Available in three widths and heights while maintaining the same depth, this system can hold five to 18 scopes. The cabinet delivers consistent, continuous HEPA-filtered, pressurized air into endoscope channels.


MASS Medical Storage
truAIR Drying Cabinet
Size: 92” H x 41” W x 18.94” D
Capacity: Up to 18 endoscopes
FYI: • 800-593-1900
Designed to provide HEPA-filtered, pressurized airflow directly into the cabinet and continuous positive-air pressure through each endoscope lumen, the truAIR cabinet offers a wide variety of sizes and configurations. The cabinet features two filtered ambient air vents, an easy-to-clean removable drip tray and padded walls to protect scopes’ distal tips. Other features include keyless entry lock, internal LED lights and technology that provides assurance to the user that the scopes are securely in place. Claiming to offer the industry’s highest hanging height, its front holders rotate for easy loading and removal of scopes.


Olympus America
Size: 91.9375” H x 41” W x 18.875” D
Capacity: Nine endoscopes
FYI: • 800-225-8330
This cabinet’s quick-connect manifold enables easy handling and connection of scope channels to the air supply through squeeze-and-release clips that are compatible with most colonoscopes, gastroscopes and enteroscopes; optional connectors are available to support bronchoscopes and EUS endoscopes. Two independent cycles distribute a continuous flow of filtered air both outside the scopes and through their channels. Maximum 25 PSI output ensures drying without damage caused by excessive air pressure. Two forced-air options are provided: facility-provided air through existing infrastructure or an optional air compressor where facility-provided air is unavailable. Available in powder-coated steel or stainless-steel finishes.


Size: 92” H x 57” W x 24” D (largest model)
Capacity: Up to 20 endoscopes
FYI: • 800-548-4873
Reliance drying cabinets feature nonporous chamber construction using stainless steel and require no plumbing or additional hookups. Tempered glass, gasketless hinged doors and internal LED lighting make scopes easy to identify and retrieve. Filtered air exchange occurs every 20 seconds on average. Swipe badge access provides additional security, while a stainless-steel drip pan can be removed for easy cleaning. A 10-inch touchscreen makes it easy for authorized users to interact with the cabinet, and a barcode scanner records information about each scope and its user.


TRICOR Systems
Dri-Scope Aid Jet~Stream
Size: N/A
Capacity: N/A
FYI: • 847-742-5542
If you have an existing endoscope storage cabinet that doesn’t feature a system to dry the internal channels of scopes with HEPA-filtered or instrument air after high-level disinfection, Jet~Stream can fill in the gaps. The device’s short drying cycle is effective at facilities that need to turn scopes over quickly and its dual timer allows two scopes to be connected individually with separate timers. Other features include low airflow warning, automatic high-pressure shutoff protection and visual displays of purging times.


Wassenburg Medical
Size: 82” H x 52” W x 18” D
Capacity: 10 endoscopes
FYI: • 215-364-1477
This drying cabinet — slated for release by year’s end from the former Custom Ultrasonics, now the U.S. arm of Dutch manufacturer Wassenburg Medical — features a pull-down positioning system that allows staff members to comfortably position, connect and remove endoscopes from the cabinet. Each endoscope has an individual connection to ensure optimum flow of filtered-compressed air through its lumens, either by connecting to a central air system or by installing an optional internal compressor. All steps of the drying process are electronically traced and monitored.

Related Articles

September 28, 2023

There’s a significant problem in many operating rooms across the United States: Electrosurgical devices can cause significant patient burns and life-threatening fires...

September 27, 2023

At the beginning of 2021, only two U.S. states had enacted legislation mandating the use of smoke evacuation systems in every OR for every smoke-producing procedure....

Be Fundamentally Sound to Prevent Infections

One need look no further than the emerging threat from Candida auris (C. auris), a fungus that is highly resistant to drugs designed to kill it, to realize the importance...