Terminal STERILIZATION of endoscopes is the only proven methodology for eliminating the risk of cross -contamination from the continued re-use of flexible scopes. The use of commercial ETO chamber sterilization has been a limited option because the parameters utilized in their cycles were quite harsh and compromised the product integrity of each expensive scope.
However, ACS has recently developed a new STERILIZATION validation protocol and cycle, specific for the STERILIZATION of flexible scopes, utilizing its unique and proprietary A-Bio-Vac Sterilization System. This new validation protocol completely complies with AAMI’s TIR 56 (sterilization), exceeds the mandated minimums for residuals of ETO and ethylene chlorohydrin left on a scope (post sterilization), and utilizes a considerably less aggressive cycle preventing degradation of the actual scope during the sterilization process.
This breakthrough has propagated ACS to begin building and creating reprocessing centers dedicated to the cleaning and terminal STERILIZATION of scopes across the country. The plan, once executed, will commence with facilities being created in numerous U.S. cities, and their creation will be accomplished swiftly. Each center is to be managed by experienced endoscope reprocessing technicians whose mandate is to explicitly follow the cleaning IFUs of each scope manufacturer.
When each scope manufacturer’s IFUs are adhered to, ACS’ validated STERILIZATION protocol guarantees a STERILE and safe scope all the time, every time. Safe and STERILE will be indicated on each packaged endoscope. This completely eliminates all risk associated with cross-contamination induced through the re-use of scopes for hospitals utilizing this ACS service.