PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent outbreaks of nosocomial infection and pseudoinfection have been linked to contaminated endoscopes. This review summarizes the recent literature, analyzes the latest published information related to the epidemiology, examines potential causes for the outbreaks, and discusses current alternatives for preventing infection. RECENT FINDINGS: A systematic follow-up of patients revealed that the risk of infection attributed to inadequate endoscope reprocessing was very low. Nevertheless, inadequate reprocessing practices are still considered the main culprit underlying contamination from endoscopy procedures. Moreover, standards of care are difficult to maintain given the numerous inconsistencies that exist among reprocessing guidelines and manufacturer's recommended practices. Exposure to contaminated equipment could be prevented through better reprocessing practices and adherence to decontamination guidelines. Recent literature reinforces the need for endoscopy drying after each reprocessing cycle, endoscope reprocessing after short periods of disuse, surveillance, and for a coordinated approach to handle postcontamination responses. Additional analyses such as health technology assessment and cost analysis are needed to identify control alternatives that are most effective. SUMMARY: Although the risk of endoscopy-related infection is very low, continued efforts are needed to ensure that quality is maintained during endoscope reprocessing to reduce the incidence of endoscopy-related infections.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rosa_rodriguez-monguio/9/