Endoscope Pre-Cleaning and Cleaning Tips


Each manufacturer has their own requirements and guidelines for cleaning and testing of the AERs (Automatic Endoscopic Reprocessors) they manufacture. And the manufacturers of endoscopes also have their own cleaning requirements set forth. It's important that you read the manuals for the specific AER and endoscopes you have purchased to make sure you are following the procedures set forth for your specific equipment.

Endoscopes are extremely complicated devices that are reused on patients and the risk of infection is high if not properly pre-cleaned and disinfected. There are so many places that microorganisms can hide risking a cross-contamination between patients that pre-cleaning must be taken extremely seriously.

Endoscopes must be carefully pre-cleaned immediately after being used in procedures. Typically, it is also recommended that if using an AER that the cleaning and disinfection process be started within one hour from completion of the procedure.

There are AERs that provide an equivalent cleaning alternative to some of the manual cleaning steps. However, to optimally clean your device an AER should be considered an enhancement to the pre-cleaning procedures outlined by the endoscopes manufacturer. There is also the possibility that you may be able to use modified cleaning procedures based on the AER you have chosen that will meet all of the requirements outlined by the manufacturers of your devices.

It is important to note that no manufacturer to our knowledge promotes the complete elimination of manual cleaning prior to utilizing an automated reprocessing device. This will likely not happen until it is endorsed by professional guidelines.

There's a number of other factors in making sure that your endoscopes and AER equipment is optimally cleaned. For instance, most manufacturer's recommend that you use a high quality water pre-filtration system. These systems typically filter water through a series of filters starting with 1 micron, then .4 micron and lastly a .1 micron filter. Other steps are controlling the temperature and pressure of the water provided as well as carefully choosing the detergents and disinfectants you use in the cleaning processes. But that's a topic for an upcoming article. 

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Choosing an AER | Part 6- AER Filters

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