White paper outlines potential risks associated with reusable biopsy valves and the benefits of single-use valves

Mentor, Ohio — July 8, 2015 — A recent white paper published online at Infection Control Today, “Minimizing Patient Risk with Single-use Biopsy Valves”,* states that single-use biopsy valves help eliminate the hidden dangers that reusable biopsy valves pose and reduce the overall risk of cross-contamination in endoscopy units.

Written by Diane Ayers BS, RN, CGRN from Advocate Good Sheppard Hospital in Chicago, IL., the white paper outlines the following…  

  • Reusable biopsy valves leak and expose staff / patients to infectious biomaterial.
  • Because of the intricate internal design of the biopsy valve, it is difficult to confirm if all biomaterial has been removed.
  • A human element coupled with the need to turn equipment over faster can lead to some reprocessing steps being missed.
  • There are currently no traceability methods to effectively track reusable biopsy valves. This makes it difficult to identify exposed patients in the event of an infection outbreak.
  • In 2006, a study conducted by NAMSA Advisory Services and funded by US Endoscopy, examined 15 reusable biopsy valves from three different centers in the US. These reusable valves were reprocessed according to the facility’s protocol and 50% of the reusable valves were contaminated - having visual damage and contamination when viewed under magnification. 


The conclusion of the white paper is that proper reprocessing of endoscopic accessories and valves is critical to the safe and successful treatment of patients. Moving to disposable products is a key step in reducing cross-contamination risks as well as healthcare-associated infections that are related to reusable devices.

About US Endoscopy
US Endoscopy, a subsidiary of STERIS Corporation, is a world leader in endoscopy device design and manufacturing, serving the U.S. and international gastrointestinal endoscopy markets.  By listening and delivering solutions in the field of endoscopy, our unique lines of devices provide better, more enhanced product options for GI clinicians.  A significant and growing portion of sales are from endoscopic devices created by the company's new product development team with the guidance and direction of luminary physicians and nurses worldwide.  For more information, visit www.usendoscopy.com.

About STERIS Corporation
The mission of STERIS Corporation is to help our Customers create a healthier and safer world by providing innovative healthcare and life science product and service solutions around the globe. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol STE. For more information, visit www.steris.com.

*Diane Ayers BS, RN, CGRN. “Minimizing Patient Risk with Single-use Biopsy Valves.” Infection Control Today. April 2015. <http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/whitepapers/2015/04/minimizing-patient-risk>

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