4. Please provide general guidelines for how users can prolong equipment life.
Always follow proper care and handling practices, along with OEM reprocessing guidelines. Prolonging the life of equipment begins with proper care, cleaning, and handling. Find out what kind of education the repair vendor provides in the way of educational programs on proper care and handling, preventative maintenance programs, and complete in-services. Failure to properly care for equipment can result in costly consequences for the equipment itself, the healthcare provider, and most importantly—the patient.
There are a great many guidelines that those who care for and clean endoscopy products should follow. A few of them are as follows:
A. Protect your scopes from trauma. They should be stored and hung in a vented, protected area or closet and the insertion tube and distal end should also be protected.
B. Handle and carry the instruments carefully. Scopes should be carried by looping the insertion tube and universal tube in large coils. Twisting the scope like a pretzel when carrying it is never good.
C. Leak testing is the most efficient and least expensive method available to detect any dangerous opening inside the flexible endoscope that could lead to fluid invasion and extraordinarily expensive repairs. Leak test your scope before cleaning and reprocessing the scope and again after each reprocessing procedure.
D. A scope should be taken out of service if it does not pass the leak test, no matter how small or slow the leak seems to be.
E. Scope reprocessing should only be done by trained personnel so as to avoid unnecessary damage or trauma to the endoscope.
F. Sharps should always be bagged and kept away from the endoscope during reprocessing.