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Bronchoscopy |

Bronchoscope Reprocessing and Infection Prevention and Control*: Bronchoscopy-Specific Guidelines Are Needed

Arjun Srinivasan; Linda L. Wolfenden; Xiaoyan Song; Trish M. Perl; Edward F. Haponik
Author and Funding Information

*From the Divisions of Infectious Diseases (Drs. Srinivasan and Perl) and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Drs. Wolfenden and Haponik), Department of Medicine, and the Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control (Dr. Song), Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD.

Correspondence to: Arjun Srinivasan, MD, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe St, Carnegie Building, Room 284, Baltimore, MD 21287-6284; e-mail: asriniv@jhmi.edu



Chest. 2004;125(1):307-314. doi:10.1378/chest.125.1.307
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Background: It has been recommended that bronchoscopists familiarize themselves with national recommendations for bronchoscope reprocessing practices, but the extent of guideline awareness is unclear.

Methods: We distributed a survey to practicing bronchoscopists at two meetings. Questions addressed infection control issues related to bronchoscopy and specific reprocessing recommendations.

Results: A total of 46 surveys were completed by medical directors of bronchoscopy suites (26%) and attending bronchoscopists (74%) who had graduated from medical school a median of 22 years ago and performed a median of 19 procedures per month. Sixty-five percent of respondents, including 55% of directors, were not familiar with national reprocessing recommendations, and 39% did not know the approach to reprocessing at their own institution. Respondents who did > 20 procedures per month trended toward being more likely to be aware of guidelines (54% vs 26%, p = 0.09) and were less likely to answer “do not know” to more than one question about specific reprocessing details (25% vs 70%, p = 0.003). Seventy-eight percent of respondents did not know local practices for at least one of the reprocessing details. Forty-six percent of respondents stated their institutions followed recommendations that records be kept of the specific bronchoscope used in each case.

Conclusions: Many experienced bronchoscopists are unfamiliar with national guidelines and local practices related to bronchoscope reprocessing. Publication of bronchoscope-specific, comprehensive reprocessing guidelines in the pulmonary literature may help increase familiarity with this crucial process.

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