J Med Assoc Thai 2002; 85 (11):1164

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Efficiency of the Glutaraldehyde Test Strip for Monitoring the Concentration of Glutaraldehyde in Reused Solutions for Disinfecting Endoscopes
Keerasuntonpong A Mail, Sitaposa P , Chaiprasert A , Thamlikitkul V

PRA TY A SIT APOSA, M.D.*,
VISANU THAMLIKITKUL, M.D.*
Background
: Glutaraldehyde has been widely used for low-temperature disinfection of
endoscopes. The current practice at Siriraj Hospital is to change the glutaraldehyde solution every 21
days or when the solution appears turbid. The disadvantages of this practice include inadequate dis-
infection of endoscopes if the concentration of glutaraldehyde in a reused solution is insufficient or
wasted if the discarded solution is still active.
Objective
: To determine the efficiency of a glutaraldehyde test strip (GTS) in monitoring
the amount of glutaraldehyde in a reused solution for disinfecting endoscopes.
Method
: Reused glutaraldehyde solutions for disinfecting bronchoscopes, gastroscopes and
colonoscopes were tested for the concentration of glutaraldehyde with a GTS thrice weekly for the
first week and then every working day up to 56 days.
If
the GTS indicated a concentration of glutaral-
dehyde;;:: 1.8 per cent after 21 days, 5 ml of the solution was taken to the laboratory to determine its
mycobactericidal activity.
Results
: All samples of the reused glutaraldehyde solution up to 56 days with a concentra-
tion of;;:: 1.8 per cent glutaraldehyde on GTS from testings showed mycobactericidal activity. If the
glutaraldehyde solution was reused for up to 28, 42 or 56 days, it could save 9,603; 22,813 and 29,415
baht per year respectively for the gastroscopy and colonoscopy units. The corresponding figures were
-949; 2, 726 and 4,564 baht per year for the bronchoscopy unit. It is estimated that up to 400,000 baht
per year could be saved by adopting the strategy of GTS monitoring in all endoscopy units at Siriraj
Hospital.
Conclusion
: The current strategy of discarding reused glutaraldehyde solution in the gastro-
scopy, colonoscopy and bronchoscopy units at Siriraj Hospital may be inappropriate since the reused
solution is still mycobactericidal for up to 56 days.
Key word
: Glutaraldehyde, Glutaraldehyde Test Strip, Endoscopes

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