Interventional gastroenterology

GESA proposes major changes to endoscope cleaning guidelines

Thursday, 14 Apr 2016


The Gastroenterological Society of Australia has issued a draft document that proposes major changes to current endoscope cleaning guidelines.

The organisation issued the document for discussion with members following overseas reports of outbreaks of  the “superbug” carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that were mostly linked to the use of a duodenoscope.

“These instruments have a design much more complex than regular endoscopes and are more difficult to clean” GESA President Professor Ian Norton told the limbic.

“Though we have one of the best cleaning guidelines in the world and there have been no such outbreaks in Australia we need to be proactive” he stressed.

The document proposes many changes but one that could potentially have the biggest impact on endoscopy units is the financial outlay required to install forced drying cabinets that can prevent any moisture developing in instruments while they are not in use.

And although low volume units tend to not use duodenoscopes Professor Norton says one of the main motivations for putting the document out for discussion was to encourage dialogue around whether cleaning and management of all instruments needed to be changed.

The consultation will end on the 31 May and members can give their view by emailing Professor Norton at [email protected]

A full copy of the draft document can be obtained by visiting the GESA website. 

Following consultation GESA plans to hold a forum with interested parties from gastroenterology, infectious diseases, thoracic physicians, TGA and industry.

There will be another discussion at the Annual Conference in Adelaide in September, but Professor Norton says they hope to have an interim guideline dealing with at least duodenoscopes available before that.

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