Document Detail

Bacteria-free endoscopy rinse water -- a realistic aim?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16490131     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A number of outbreaks and pseudo-outbreaks have been associated with contaminated rinse water in endoscope washer-disinfectors. Health Technical Memorandum 2030 specifies that final rinse water should be 'bacteria-free'. In this study, results of rinse-water testing from 20 endoscopy units were reviewed over a 4-month period. Over 60% of samples were of an unsatisfactory quality (i.e. not bacteria-free) and none of the endoscopy units consistently achieved sterile water throughout the study period. Poor microbiology results caused anxiety to endoscopy staff and infection control teams who had to decide whether or not to take washer-disinfectors out of use, possibly resulting in delays to medical procedures. There was no common policy on how to react to poor results, with staff at each unit developing their own action levels. Here, it is suggested that future guidelines would be of more practical use if they specified a series of action levels of increasing severity based on the bacterial count in a water sample.
C Willis
Publication Detail:
Type:  Evaluation Studies; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Epidemiology and infection     Volume:  134     ISSN:  0950-2688     ISO Abbreviation:  Epidemiol. Infect.     Publication Date:  2006 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-02-21     Completed Date:  2006-04-04     Revised Date:  2010-09-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8703737     Medline TA:  Epidemiol Infect     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  279-84     Citation Subset:  IM    
Wessex Environmental Microbiology Services, Health Protection Agency, Southampton, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
Disinfection / methods,  standards*
Endoscopes / microbiology*
Guideline Adherence*
Mycobacterium / isolation & purification
Practice Guidelines as Topic*
Quality Control
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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