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What every endoscopist should know about decontamination
  1. Helen Griffiths1,
  2. Laura Dwyer2
  1. 1 Brecon War Memorial Hospital, Brecon Health Board, Brecon, Wales
  2. 2 Elective Care Centre, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Griffiths, Brecon War Memorial Hospital, Brecon Health Board, Brecon, UK; Helen.griffiths20{at}


Carbapenemase-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has been implicated in an alarming increase in the incidence of endoscopy-associated infections and deaths worldwide. Public Health England acknowledges that the rapid spread of CRE bacteria poses an increasing threat to public health and modern medicine here in the UK. As endoscopists, we assume that the endoscope we are handed has been appropriately decontaminated, but how many of us can honestly say that we understand the process and the pathway by which the instruments we use are reprocessed? Do we understand the associated risks if the pathway fails and our part in supporting the teams responsible for this critical role? Successful decontamination of endoscopes is everyone’s business, and this article outlines what every endoscopist should know about decontamination.

  • gastrointesinal endoscopy

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  • Contributors HG and LD planned the article. HG researched and wrote the article. LD reviewed and amended the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The provenance and peer review statement has been corrected to Commissioned.

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