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Gastroenterology Nursing

April 2005, Volume 28 Number 2 , p 145 - 146


  • Lynne A. Thomas BSN, RN, CGRN, Department Editor





  • References

    Because of increased complacency with repetitive activities, a focused awareness of the potential for compression, or contact damage, to flexible endoscopes should be reiterated to each employee annually. For instance, all components of the flexible endoscope should be protected while being carried from one location to another. Three distinct areas of attention should be: the location of all of the scope's metal components, configuration of the soft tubing, and support for the heavy parts.

    Protect the hand-carried endoscope by supporting the weight of the heavy components while separating the soft tubing from the metal components. Failure to recognize responsibilities toward the scope's safety can lead to an increase in puncture damage and permanent kinking of the internal Teflon channels, as well as degradation of the tube's inner structure. Should the scope be coiled during this time, the coil's diameter should be approximately the size of the scope's travel case.

    Endoscopes should be carried alone. Carrying multiple endoscopes or other instrumentation increases component contact and leads to an increased risk of puncture damage. This principle of segregation should also be respected when the clean scope is moved on a cart because the potential for compression and puncture damage also exists there.

    The inner functioning channels of many endoscopes are made of Teflon. This durable material is selected for its flexibility and ability to withstand frequent and multiple exposures to chemicals and liquids. A drawback is that once it is over-coiled, the material develops a permanent kink in its configuration. This kink leads to difficulty in device delivery and an increase in the potential for a hole to develop in the weakened area. Maintaining loosely coiled scopes, with no sharp ...

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