FeaturesEvaluation of 12-Week Shelf Life of Patient-Ready EndoscopesLacey, Valerie RN, BSN, CGRN; Good, Karron RN, ADN, CGRN; Toliver, Chris RN, ADN; Jenkins, Shirley MT (ASCP); DeGuzman, Pamela B. PhD Author Information Valerie Lacey, RN, BSN, CGRN, is Team Coordinator, Patient Care Services, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia. Karron Good, RN, ADN, CGRN, is Endoscopy Nurse, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia. Chris Toliver, RN, ADN, is Endoscopy Nurse, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia. Shirley Jenkins, MT (ASCP), is Microbiology Section Leader, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia. Pamela B. DeGuzman, PhD, is Assistant Professor, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville. Correspondence to: Valerie Lacey, RN, BSN, CGRN, Patient Care Services, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, 500 Martha Jefferson Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22911 ([email protected]). The authors declare no conflicts of interest. Gastroenterology Nursing: March/April 2019 - Volume 42 - Issue 2 - p 159-164 doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000364 Buy Metrics Abstract Current research suggests that for certain types of gastrointestinal endoscopes, longer shelf life (the interval of storage after which endoscopes should be reprocessed before their reuse) may not increase the likelihood of endoscope contamination. Scope contamination may, in fact, be related primarily to either inadequate disinfection processes or inadvertent contamination during storage, not to duration of storage. The purpose of this study evaluated the presence of bacteria and fungus following liquid chemical sterilization in colonoscopes and gastroscopes, after 12 weeks of shelf life during which time personal protective equipment was used during endoscope storage cabinet access. We stored four colonoscopes and two gastroscopes in a cabinet for 12 weeks after liquid chemical sterilization and the cabinet was only accessed during the 12-week period wearing personal protective equipment (gown and gloves). Scopes were tested for bacteria and fungus at the end of 12 weeks. No bacteria or fungus grew on any of the scopes. This study provides further support that contaminated endoscopes may be related to either inadequate disinfection or contamination during storage, not shelf life. © 2019 Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.