Sterilization of medical equipment is of high priority in any kind of procedure. Reusable devices need to undergo proper cleansing and disinfection procedures to ensure that no microorganisms are present.

Having said that, invasive procedures that require insertion of medical equipment into a body cavity needs proper disinfection. Medical personnel need to ensure that the equipment is perfectly free of these debris. Who would want to be inserted with a tube that contains body tissues from another person, right?

One such procedure is endoscopy. It entails the insertion of a fiber optic tube with light source to visualize the digestive tract. It is usually used to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders. Since a tube is inserted, proper procedures for disinfection need to be followed. Use of proper disinfectants like the ones featured in are needed.

What are the most common disinfectant solutions used to clean endoscopes?

  1. Glutaraldehyde
  • Most commonly used disinfectant
  • Affordable but effective
  • Does not cause damage to endoscopes, accessories or automated reprocessing equipment
  • Stains the equipment
  • Causes adverse reactions to medical personnel
  • Commonly implicated in safety and environmental issues
  1. Orthophthaldehyde
  • More stable alternative to glutraldehyde
  • Lower vapor pressure
  • Odourless and does not produce strong fumes
  • Has better mycobactericidal activity than glutaraldehyde
  • Does not damage the endoscopy equipment, but can cause color stains on them
  1. Peracetic acid
  • Another suitable alternative to glutaraldehyde
  • Highly effective as endoscopy equipment disinfectant
  1. Electrolyzed acid water
  • The safest disinfectant for the staff, environment and for patients as it does damage human tissue
  • Low production cost
  • Strong bactericidal effect, however, its potency is lessened in the presence of biofilms or organic matter in the equipment
  • May cause damage to the endoscope due to free chlorine level variations

No matter what disinfectant you choose, the most important thing is that it is potent enough not to cause damage to the equipment. Take note of the manufacturer’s instructions as well on proper disinfection of the equipment.



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