What if we told you that performing leak testing on flexible endoscopes is not only your best shot at preventing costly damage to your endoscopes — but is arguably one of the most important steps an OR/GI Labs can take to protect patients from cross contamination?
What is leak testing and why is it so important?
- Leak testing is the most efficient and cost-effective method available to detect any dangerous breaches of both the internal and external protective surfaces of the flexible endoscope that could lead to fluid invasion and cross-contamination for patients.
- All components inside a scope are highly vulnerable to the damaging effects of water and corrosion. When the protective coverings of an endoscope are compromised, the entire scope becomes dangerous for further use until repaired.
- The waterproof covering of each scope acts as the protector for the entire interior of the scope – when this covering has even a micro-sized hole or crack, the entire scope becomes vulnerable to fluid invasion.
- The waterproof seal is the only object protecting the entire scope from further damage.
You can prevent this problem altogether by improving your department’s leak testing process and accuracy. This video provides an overview on how to perform effective leak testing, and more information on its importance, presented by SPD industry expert Michael Matthews, Director of Clinical Education and Training at Agiliti.
“Endoscopic leak testing is one of the most important steps for both protecting patients from cross contamination and preventing costly fluid invasion damage.”– Michael Matthews
What to do if the flexible endoscope fails a leak test?
Any scope that does not pass its leak test is no longer safe for use and must be sent out for repair after being cleaned. Connect with your local repair vendor for instructions on the proper way to return a damaged scope. Agiliti offers full cycle surgical equipment repair and maintenance services with repair centers located across the country, ready to assist with your flexible endoscope needs. Loaner scopes are also available while yours is being repaired.
What Steps Can You Take for Effective Leak Testing Education and Practices?
The short answer – keep up on your continuing education and surgical equipment repair best practices, especially as new models of equipment enter circulation. There are several free resources to support your efforts:
- Find flexible endoscope continuing education resources, such as Care and Handling of Flexible Endoscopes and Surgical Instrument Care and Testing, through Agiliti U. Register for access to free continuing education courses here.
- Access a free Surgical Equipment Inspection Audit Tool, focusing on Flexible Endoscopes, to help you assess your current equipment repair process and diagnose weak points.
- Contact us today for more information about our extensive portfolio of surgical equipment repair services.