Home · News · Causes of damage to endoscopes

Causes of damage to endoscopes

Minimize the number of damaged endoscopes

During Cantel’s Educational Online Lunch session (in Benelux), in collaboration with the company “Rescope”, common damage to endoscopes, their causes and possible solutions to minimize damage were discussed. Because of the great interest in this topic, it has been decided to share a few interesting points about endoscope damage and endoscope repair. Since damage to endoscopes occurs unnecessarily often and it brings additional costs and creates major infection risks, sharing information on minimizing risks is always a good idea to improve knowledge in the field.

Infection risks due to damaged endoscopes

Endoscopes are very sensitive to damage. A damaged endoscope can even cause infections! Cracks, scratches, dents, kinks, or any other type of damage will increase the risk of infection. Damage creates places where soil can stack up and settle. This makes it more difficult to remove soil, which can lead to biofilm formation. Due to this, infection risks will increase and could cause harm to the patient.

Different types of damage

Damage to endoscopes often occurs unconsciously and accidentally. By knowing which types of damage occurs, we can differentiate them more easily and possibly avoid them. In this section we differentiate two types of damage:

Damage to an endoscope due to wear from use

This is caused by using the endoscope, just as with any other product. With an endoscope the vulnerable parts for wear are:

  • The image and light guide sheath
  • The cables
  • The cardan rubbers
  • The bonding
  • The seals of the lenses

Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on these parts, so that worse damage can be prevented on time.

Damage to an endoscope caused by the user

These are damages that are usually caused unconsciously or accidentally by the user. This can be caused by:

  • Scraping Instrumentation
  • Bumping the scope
  • Damage during transport
  • Deflecting an endoscope
  • Damage during (pre) cleaning
  • Damage while hanging the endoscope in the drying cabinet

No one intentionally inflicts these damages, but often they can be prevented.

The most common causes of damage to an endoscope

As explained above, various types of damage can be distinguished. Damage due to wear and tear is hard to prevent in many cases, but user damage to endoscopes is not. The most common causes of user damage are:

Bumping the endoscope

It often happens that someone accidentally hits the wall with the endoscope. This can happen during transport, cleaning, storage in the drying cabinet or during another operation. The only solution is to treat the endoscope with care.

How to prevent bumping?

A good solution to prevent the endoscope from bumping is to use a “cassette system”. After the manual cleaning of the endoscope will be placed in a cassette/load carrier. Using a load carrier will store the endoscope safely and will prevent it amongst other things from bumping. The endoscope stays in the load carrier almost during the whole cleaning cycle; from manual cleaning, to reprocessing and drying.

Kink damage with endoscopes

A common user damage with endoscopes is kink damage in the biopsy channel. A kink can occur in different ways like, excessive bending of the endoscope or the endoscope being stuck between the door of the drying cabinet etc.
1st picture: double kink – usually occurs when the endoscope gets stuck in the door
2nd picture: single kink

How to prevent kink damage to endoscopes.

The risks of kink damage are easy to minimize. Always make sure that the endoscope is not hanging between the door of the drying cabinet before closing the door. Excessive bending of an endoscope can be prevented by always maintaining the natural curl of the endoscope and not “over bending” it.

Prevent unnecessary damage to endoscopes!

There are sufficient solutions to prevent unnecessary damage to endoscopes. Often, carelessness and a lack of time are the causes of these damages. This is a pity, and it can be solved by using suitable products, optimizing the work process, and increasing knowledge.

Cantel offers various options to help you optimize your processes. Contact your sales manager for more information. Or send an email to marketingbenelux@cantel.com