Why are endoscopes suitable for ethylene oxide sterilization?


The importance of endoscopes in medical diagnostics cannot be overstated, and in order to ensure that they meet the highest standards of hygiene before use, ethylene oxide sterilization is an ideal method of sterilization. In this article, we will provide an in-depth analysis of why endoscopes are suitable for ethylene oxide sterilization and the advantages of this method of sterilization.


oxide sterilization


The specific needs of endoscopes:


Complex construction: Endoscopes are relatively complex, including lenses, tubes and connections. Traditional sterilization methods may have difficulty in ensuring full sterilization of these delicate structures, whereas ethylene oxide sterilization is able to penetrate and permeate these hard-to-reach parts.

Sensitive Materials: Endoscopes are often constructed of delicate and sensitive materials such as rubber, plastics and special metals. Ethylene oxide sterilization is less corrosive to these materials and helps maintain the original properties of the endoscope.

Prevents Thermal Damage: While steam sterilization at high temperatures can cause thermal damage to some parts of the endoscope, ethylene oxide is a low-temperature sterilization method that can effectively prevent damage to the equipment caused by high temperatures.


Advantages of ethylene oxide sterilization:


Comprehensive Sterilization: Ethylene oxide sterilization is a gas sterilization method that can achieve comprehensive sterilization in all corners and small parts of the equipment, ensuring that there are no dead corners.

Low-temperature operation: Since ethylene oxide sterilization is carried out at relatively low temperatures, it will not cause thermal damage to the endoscope material, thus guaranteeing the integrity and longevity of the equipment.

Kill broad-spectrum microorganisms: Ethylene oxide sterilization has a strong sterilizing effect on bacteria, viruses and fungi, ensuring that endoscopes do not carry any pathogenic microorganisms before use.

No residue: Ethylene oxide can evaporate quickly after sterilization, leaving no residue, ensuring that endoscopes are safe for patients when in use.

How to use ethylene oxide sterilizer correctly:


1. Preparation
Before sterilizing the endoscope, make sure the ethylene oxide sterilizer is in normal working condition. Check the instructions of the sterilizer to ensure that the temperature, humidity and other parameters meet the requirements. At the same time, check the appearance of the endoscope to ensure that it is clean and intact, without damage or dirt.


2. Prepare the endoscope
Before placing the endoscope in the sterilizer, perform a basic cleaning of the endoscope. Wipe the surface of the endoscope with sterile gauze or cotton swabs to remove visible dirt and residue.


3. Place the endoscope into the sterilizer
Gently place the cleaned endoscope into the appropriate position in the ethylene oxide sterilizer. Ensure that all parts of the endoscope are adequately sterilized.


4. Adjust the sterilizer parameters
Adjust the appropriate temperature, humidity and sterilization time parameters according to the instructions for the ethylene oxide sterilizer. Make sure that these parameters can meet the endoscope’s sterilization needs.


5. Start the sterilizer
Follow the sterilizer start-up procedure to start the unit. Throughout the sterilization process, keep the equipment in normal operating condition and regularly check the indicator lights and parameter displays to ensure that everything is in order.


6. Wait for the completion of sterilization
Wait for ethylene oxide to fully sterilize the endoscope within the set sterilization time. Ensure that the sterilizer is in a closed state during the whole process to prevent the leakage of ethylene oxide.


7. Ventilation and Gas Discharge
At the end of the sterilization, vent the equipment to ensure that the ethylene oxide gas is completely vented. This step is critical to avoid residual gas from affecting the operator and patient.


8. Removal of endoscope
Once the venting is complete, discreetly remove the sterilized endoscope. Use sterile packaging or containers for storage to keep them clean after sterilization.




Periodic testing of equipment: Periodic testing and verification of the ethylene oxide steriliser should be carried out to ensure that its operating parameters are in accordance with the requirements and to safeguard the sterilization effect.

Ensure Ventilation: At the end of the sterilization process, ensure that the equipment and the environment are adequately ventilated to remove any residual ethylene oxide gas.


Overall, ethylene oxide sterilization is ideal for sterilizing endoscopes due to its comprehensive, low-temperature, broad-spectrum microbial killing properties, ensuring that the equipment meets high standards of hygiene before use.


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