Technology Background: Flexible Endoscope Drying Cabinets

October 13, 2021 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's background on endoscope drying cabinets, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. Learn how the technology is used and which specs are important. Also review ECRI's data describing hospitals' interest in each vendor.

In all hospitals, there is a need to provide disinfected equipment to patients to prevent cross-contamination. After disinfection, equipment needs to dry. However, simply leaving it exposed to ambient atmosphere when drying can lead to contamination of the patient. In the case of endoscopes, there is evidence that moisture remaining in the channels may promote bacterial proliferation and biofilm formation (Alfa and Sitter 1991, Kovaleva 2016, Perumpail et al. 2019). Endoscope drying cabinets are designed to reduce infection risks by removing moisture from endoscopes following high-level disinfection (HLD) and providing a controlled environment in which to store them.

Endoscope cabinets vary in sophistication. Some units create a positive pressure within the cabinet to circulate air around the scopes, but rely on gravity to drain fluids from the endoscope channels by hanging the scopes in a vertical position. Other units, in addition to circulating air within the cabinet, force filtered air through the endoscope channels to purge water from them. Some channel-purging cabinets hang the endoscopes vertically from their control body, while others coil them in trays horizontally and place the trays on shelves.

Additionally, some drying cabinets allow for user and endoscope tracking and data export to help prevent endoscope handling by unauthorized personnel, to track compliance with endoscope management policies, to facilitate contact tracing in cases of possible cross-contamination, and to prevent theft.

Major components include the following:

  1. Chamber: Area where the endoscopes are loaded. The size of the chamber will depend on the needs of the facility and the number of endoscopes that they would like to store. There are two different options...

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