In March 2021 John Prendergast, MIHEEM, an Authorising Engineer (Decontamination), and Dr Jimmy Walker, Chair of the Central Sterilising Club, established, and have since led, a Working Group to review guidance for ventilation requirements in endoscope decontamination facilities.
Here, with input from all the Group’s members, they discuss the work and its aims, and some of the key recommendations to ensure a safe and practical working environment in such settings.
A guiding principle for decontamination is that of standard precautions: any patient must be considered a potential infection risk, and each endoscope and device must be reprocessed with the same rigour following every endoscopic procedure. (BSG Guidelines for decontamination of equipment for gastrointestinal endoscopy). Decontamination involves a combination of processes, including cleaning and disinfection, and/or sterilisation, used to render a reusable item safe for further use. To maintain effective decontamination requires a multidisciplinary approach to the prevention and control of infection, including:
Segregated ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ areas
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