Preventing Cross-Contamination and HAIs by Using a Disposable Cleaning Adapter

endoscope cleaning products

Ruhof’s disposable Air/Water Cleaning Adapter

Many healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are caused by cross-contamination due to inadequate cleaning. Ruhof’s single-use, disposable Air/Water Cleaning Adapter eliminates one potential source of infection and gives cleaning personnel more time to spend on reprocessing reusable items. 

Reusable air/water adapters are complex devices that require meticulous, time-consuming manual cleaning. Errors at any point can leave behind contaminants that increase the risk of HAIs.

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation and the American National Standards Institute have recommended using disposable adapters for this reason. “Processing of certain reusable endoscope components such as air/water and suction valves … require(s) the same level of inspection, cleaning and high-level disinfection or sterilization as the endoscopes themselves. Providers should therefore “consider the use of single-use, disposable valves” (ANSI/AAMI ST91: 2015 “Flexible and semi-rigid endoscope processing in health care facilities”).

With Ruhof’s single-use adapter, you don’t have to worry whether the adapter is sterile when used. And Ruhof rigorously tests its adapters to make sure you won’t experience problems common in reusable adapters such as clogging, sticking and insufficient insufflation. This helps improve the consistency, control and efficiency of each procedure.

The Ruhof adapter also eliminates another time-consuming chore: keeping adapters and endoscopes together throughout reprocessing and storing. As the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates has noted, “literature suggests that reusable buttons and valves be reprocessed and stored together with the endoscope as a unique set for tracking purposes.”

By eliminating the need to clean and track reusable adapters, Ruhof makes it easier for cleaning staff to follow reprocessing protocols and gives them more time to focus on each step. 

Ruhof’s disposable Air/Water Cleaning Adapter is specifically designed for use with Olympus GI endoscopes (excluding Olympus echo-endoscopes that utilize a balloon channel). Each adapter is individually packaged and carries a warning tag that it is for single use only.

Ruhof’s disposable air/water adapter is easy to use. Just follow these steps:

  1. Prior to clinical use, familiarize yourself with the device and read all the instructions for use.
  2. Remove adapter from package.
  3. Turn off the airflow regulator on the light source after initial rinsing of scope (per facility guidelines).
  4. Remove the air/water valve from the endoscope.
  5. Insert the Air/Water Cleaning Adapter into the air/water cylinder on the control body of the endoscope.
  6. Place the distal end of the scope into a basin of water.
  7. On the light source, turn on the airflow regulator and set it to a maximum output of “high.”
  8. Depress the Air/Water Cleaning Adapter for 30 seconds. (Note: This flushes the air/water channel with water.)
  9. Release the Air/Water Cleaning Adapter.
  10. Keep the distal end of the scope in the basin of water.
  11. Flush air for 10 seconds. (Note: Air bubbles will be seen in the basin of water.)
  12. Turn off the air/flow regulator on the light source.
  13. Remove distal end of endoscope from basin of water.
  14. Remove the adapter from the endoscope after the pre-cleaning step is completed.
  15. After use, handle and dispose of the adapter in accordance with accepted medical practice and applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations for potential biohazards.


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