Beware of unclean endoscopies

diagram of a human digestive system

human digestive system

Endoscopy is becoming an increasingly common investigation these days. They are used to visualize various parts of our food path i.e. gastrointestinal system. Colonoscopy is also a type of endoscopy in which the colon is visualized. Recently in US, a report came out where many endoscopes (endoscopes are the long tube like instruments used during endoscopy) were checked if they were properly cleaned.The outcome showed that good number of improperly cleaned endoscopes were in use on patients. Such unclean endoscopes have high risk of contaminating one patient with another patient’s infection including some of the life threatening ones like HIV, Hepatitis B or C etc.

This is a problem something alike in dentists office where too certain same instruments are used for various dental procedures and if improperly cleaned or sterilized, can pose threat of HIV, Hepatitis B or C etc. If such scenario are reported from most developed nations, the scenario might be much more scary in developing world where a huge amount medical negligence and malpractice are common. While campaigning against HIV and other blood transmitted diseases, the campaigns should probably not be limited to sexual and intravenous drug use related risk of transmissions, rather should focus endoscopy like medical procedures too so that people have an awareness about this risks of such procedures and ask the medical practitioner if those instruments are thoroughly cleaned. It’s a patient’s right to know about this cleanliness issues since he/she is the one who will go through the procedure and its lifetime risks.

Related item: Scared of endoscopy; 
Please cross check information from other sources too. 
For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider.