In the Olympus instructions for use (IFU), state of the art processes and evidence are taken into account when describing how to reprocess the respective instrument. Therefore, the safety measures are constructed to avoid transmission of ANY pathogenic microorganism from the instrument to:
- The hospital staff (personnel safety).
- The next patient (patient safety).
Olympus reprocessing instructions assume that after each treatment your instrument is potentially contaminated with high loads of microorganism of any kind (even the most infectious and resistant ones) in organic soil. Therefore, the reprocessing requirements and instructions ensure safe reprocessing:
- Not only against SARS-CoV-2.
- Not only during a pandemic.
- After every single treatment/procedure.
In addition to our IFU, please follow specific local guidelines, recommendations and best practices as your first source of information.
International healthcare societies as the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Endoscopy Organization (WEO) state that no additional approach is needed for instrument reprocessing, since coronaviruses including the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) can be inactivated by many commonly used disinfectants or in accordance with safe routine procedures.
Customers can continue using their reusable instruments safely when closely following the instructions for use and reprocessing,employing reprocessing best practices for their respective markets.
Due to its relatively large size and envelope, SARS-CoV-2 is very prone to chemical and physical attack. For its removal and also inactivation, washing hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds is regarded as a highly effective measure. Hand sanitizers, preferably based on alcohol (isopropanol and ethanol), are also highly effective as long as they are labeled as having virucidal properties*. Both soap and alcohol dissolve the fat membrane of the envelope and the virus falls apart like a house of cards and becomes inactive. Please follow the indicated contact times of the chemistry and make sure and make sure that it covers every part of the hand.
*Classification as “limited” and “full” virucidal disinfectants
According to EN 14476/EN 17111 or national institutes such as the German Association for the Control of Viral Diseases (DVV).
Check the labeling on your disinfectant.
“Limited virucidal*” (= effective against enveloped viruses) or “full virucidal*” (= effective against enveloped and naked viruses).
Therefore even disinfectants labeled as “limited virucidal” are effective against SARS-CoV-2.
Wearing personnel protective equipment (PPE) protects you against transmission of pathogens during reprocessing. Ensure the correct use of PPE, especially to prevent mucosa in the mouth, nose and eyes from getting into contact with aerosols/droplets. For specific guidance on appropriate PPE in the case of COVID-19 as well as the correct donning and removal, please refer to national and global guidance such as that from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), World Endoscopy Organization (WEO) or European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA).