Study: Reprocessing, Infection Prevention Challenges Tied to Endoscopist Off-Label Use of Products

The results of a new study show that the off-label use of a variety of products by endoscopists contribute to reprocessing failures, raising the risk of infection.

The study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, examined reprocessed endoscopes from several hospitals. Visual inspections detected different types of residue on and in the scopes. Researchers found that microbial cultures were positive for at least half of the endoscopes. Hospital personnel reported the off-label use of simethicone, cooking spray, silicone spray and tissue glue during endoscopy.

As the researchers note, these products are insoluble and cannot be removed by reprocessing technicians, thus potentially affecting reprocessing effectiveness.

The researchers conclude: "Infection preventionists should determine whether these products are used in their institutions and evaluate methods for removing them. New policies may be needed to support procedural success and effective endoscope reprocessing."