PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Sterilization of endoscopic instruments is an important but often ignored topic. The purpose of this article is to review the current literature on the sterilization of endoscopic instruments and elaborate on the appropriate sterilization practices.
RECENT FINDING: Autoclaving is an economic and excellent method of sterilizing the instruments that are not heat sensitive. Heat sensitive instruments may get damaged with hot sterilization methods. Several new endoscopic instruments such as flexible ureteroscopes, chip on tip endoscopes, are added in urologists armamentarium. Many of these instruments are heat sensitive and hence alternative efficacious methods of sterilization are necessary. Although ethylene oxide and hydrogen peroxide are excellent methods of sterilization, they have some drawbacks. Gamma irradiation is mainly for disposable items. Various chemical agents are widely used even though they achieve high-level disinfection rather than sterilization. This article reviews various methods of endoscopic instrument sterilization with their advantages and drawbacks.
SUMMARY: If appropriate sterilization methods are adopted, then it not only will protect patients from procedure-related infections but prevent hypersensitive allergic reactions. It will also protect instruments from damage and increase its longevity.
Sabnis RB, Bhattu A, Vijaykumar M Are you the author?
Department of Urology Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Nadiad bDNB Urology, Fellow in Endourology and Laparoscopy and Robotic Urology, Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Nadiad cDNB General Surgery, Resident in Urology, Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Nadiad, Gujarat
Reference: Curr Opin Urol. 2014 Jan 21. (Epub ahead of print)