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Disinfection of upper gastrointestinal fibreoptic endoscopy equipment: an evaluation of a cetrimide chlorhexidine solution and glutaraldehyde.
  1. D L Carr-Locke,
  2. P Clayton

    Abstract

    There is little information available on the bacteriological contamination of upper gastrointestinal fibreoptic endoscopes during routine use and the effects of 'disinfecting solutions'. A bacteriological evaluation was therefore made of cleaning an endoscope and its ancillary equipment with (1) water, (2) an aqueous solution of 1% cetrimide with 0.1% chlorhexidine, and (3) activated aqueous 2% glutaraldehyde. All equipment, but particularly the endoscope itself, was found to be heavily contaminated after use with a wide variety of organisms of which 53% were Gram positive. Cleaning the endoscope and ancillary equipment with water and the cetrimide/chlorhexidine solution alone or in combination was inadequate to produce disinfection but immersion in glutaraldehyde for two minutes consistently produced sterile cultures with our sampling technique. A rapid and simple method for disinfection of endoscopic equipment is therefore recommended and we think this is especially suitable for busy endoscopy units.

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