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Crohn's Disease Forum » Tests for IBD » Does anyone worry about picking up a pathogen from the scope?


07-21-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
7vNH
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Does anyone worry about picking up a pathogen from the scope?

The way they run people through these colonoscopy procedures, dozens and dozens, one right after the other, I wondered how good their cleaning procedures are. I mean, if they got slack, it would seem that some healthy person that was getting their first scope at age 50 (to rule out pre-canerous conditions) could possibly pick up mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis or something, and end up with active disease. I have never really looked closely at the scope, but it looked plastic and I thought it had swivel joints (hard to clean?). Also, if the plastic had microscopic scratches, those could harbor something. Am I the only one thinking about this?
07-21-2014, 05:36 PM   #2
seebee
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To be perfectly honest, I never thought about it. Though now that you mention it .....
07-21-2014, 06:42 PM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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I wouldn't worry about it, they have dozens of them and are constantly being sterilized. Millions of people undergoe colonoscopy with no problems at all.
07-21-2014, 06:55 PM   #4
poopaholic
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I think of it every time I get scoped . Last friday to be exact . It is a little concerning for me esespecially since I get my help from the veteran's hospital in st.louis and they have had problems in the past for not sterilizing things properly . Dental instruments were the last things they had problems with. The last thing I need is to come out of there with more problems than I came in with . So to answer your question, the answer is yes.
07-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #5
7vNH
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So to answer your question, the answer is yes.
I'm glad I'm not the only one! I was beginning to question myself. I have no experience on the other side of health care, but there are so many horror stories about food preparation that we have all heard. Yes, medicine is more serious business, but people are not perfect. I wonder if there are inspectors that could pop in, unannounced, and swab things that are supposed to be sterile. How did they discover the problems in the veterans care place? Hopefully not by observing fallout in the health of the patients!
07-29-2014, 08:38 PM   #6
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I am from Australia, and the standards of our health care system are usually very high. The chances of anything similar to what you mentioned are so small that it isn't worth thinking about. With any procedure like this, there is always a risk. Much like the risk of perforating the bowel, or having a bad reaction to the anesthetic.Whilst it is possible, the benefits far out way the risks.

Given an infinite amount of time in the universe, if there is a chance of something happening then it eventually will. But the chances are so slim that being concerned about these things is as useful as being concerned about being struck on the head by falling space debris.

That being said, I don't mean to discredit your concerns, it is definitely always worthwhile questioning any procedure like this and you need to be able to way up the risks yourself. If you do have ongoing concerns about this then I am sure your doctor or nurse would be happy to explain their cleaning and sterilising techniques, which may hopefully allay any further concerns that you may have .
07-29-2014, 08:44 PM   #7
InkyStinky
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I had never thought of this.... until I read about a study done last year, in which:

" Three out of 20 flexible gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes used for screening were found to harbor unacceptable levels of “bio dirt” – cells and matter from a patient’s body that could pose potential infection risk -- according to a study of endoscopes used at five hospitals across the U.S.
In an abstract that was presented at the 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), researchers in the 3M Infection Prevention Division analyzed 275 flexible duodenoscopes, gastroscopes, and colonoscopes and found that 30 percent, 24 percent, and 3 percent respectively did not pass a cleanliness rating.
'Three out of 20 is an unexpectedly high number of endoscopes failing a cleanliness criterion,' said Marco Bommarito, PhD, lead investigator and lead research specialist, 3M Infection Prevention Division. 'Clearly, we’d like no endoscopes to fail a cleanliness rating.' "
--> http://apic.org/For-Media/News-Relea...b-3870eb159e9e

Does anyone know more about that study? All I know is what the APIC stated - has there been follow up?

So now this is definitely something I'm concerned about, and will be something I discuss with my GI before I'm scoped again (none scheduled at the moment).

Some blog I was reading mentioned that some hospitals/clinics use single-use covers on scopes, but that's not a widespread practice. Anyone had a scope where they used a single-use cover?
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07-29-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
poopaholic
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Great, now after reading the last two posts I now fear being hit by space debris.
07-31-2014, 09:19 AM   #9
7vNH
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Some blog I was reading mentioned that some hospitals/clinics use single-use covers on scopes, but that's not a widespread practice. Anyone had a scope where they used a single-use cover?
I have not seen that, but based on that study you located, I'm going to ask about it next time too. The sad part is that people who are just going in for a routine (no symptoms) scope are the least likely to know about the potential infection risk, and have the most to lose (from healthy to CD or UC).
07-31-2014, 09:21 AM   #10
7vNH
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I wouldn't worry about it, they have dozens of them and are constantly being sterilized. Millions of people undergoe colonoscopy with no problems at all.
I would say "no immediatly detectable problems".
07-31-2014, 09:59 PM   #11
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Great, now after reading the last two posts I now fear being hit by space debris.
I am terribly sorry to add to your list of phobias, poopaholic. I shall set up a support group for those in fear of being struck by space debris, if you like?

On the ISS, the astronauts have to eject their "waste" as it where, in to space, where it eventually re-enters the earths atmosphere and burns up ... Imagine if it survived re-entry and you were struck on the head by an astronauts extra terrestrial shit... I don't think I'd even be mad.

But I've gone a little off topic. Whilst the risk of picking up an infection from a scope is quite low (maybe not as statistically low as being hit by space debris), it's always worth querying.

The study mentioned by InkyStinky shows some alarming statistics. Hopefully the steps have now already been implemented to address this issue.

I tried to do some further research in to this, but could only find articles that linked back to the article InkyStinky has cited. Frustratingly, I couldn't find any information from Australia. If I have the time I'll do a bit more research in to it.

Last edited by Roy1989; 07-31-2014 at 10:20 PM.
07-31-2014, 10:06 PM   #12
InkyStinky
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I tries to do some further research in to this, but could only find articles that linked back to the article InkyStinky has cited.
That's what kept happening to me, too...

Watch out for space poo, everyone!
07-31-2014, 11:03 PM   #13
poopaholic
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Honestly my fears are very low . I do have concern with the cleaning of the instruments at my hospital only because they have had troubles in that department before . Most of you are probably unaware of the treatment the veterans get here in the states . Personally they have done me wonders but others have had troubles with thier care . I don't understand why the veteran's healthcare doesn't set the standards for the country . Unfortunately that is not the case. I get my treatment at the st.louis john cochran hospital and just a year or so ago it was discovered that they were not sterilizing the dental equipment properly and 3000 vets had to be tested for HIV and hepatitis. I believe only one contracted hepatitis from the issue of improper steralization . So in general I wouldn't have as much concern, it is more of a concern from my personal hospital. I don't dwell on it since all my tests are necassary for my health. But in the back of my mind I am always wondering if everything is done to the standards that they should be .
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