Last week Jim Mosley set up an Olympus video endoscope tower at the San Francisco SPCA. They purchased three scopes: a standard GIF-XP160 for feline work, a standard PCF-130L for the occasional giant dog, and at VET-160-130 as their main scope.
Leak testing is the simplest way to help prevent serious and expensive damage to your flexible endoscopes. Regularly testing your scope protects your investment and saves on costly repairs.
While many manufacturers sell leakage testers, E.S.S. sells the ATT-Series Airtight Leakage Testers with connectors that fit virtually all makes and models of endoscopes!
The Airtight tester comes with a "bulb" to pump air into the endoscope and a dial that measures air pressure. The device uses air pressure to pressurize your scope to see if there is a leak.
The Airtight Leakage Testers are available for:
Richard Wolf, Karl Storz, OPTIM, & Fujinon scopes.
Once you receive your Leakage Tester, the best thing to do is to get in the habit of testing your scope(s) frequently. They should be tested before and after each procedure to ensure the scope is maintaining it's water-tight seal.
Want to keep your Airtight Tester within easy reach?
Make sure to get our rack specifically designed for the ATT-Series testers. This rack is molded in a durable white plastic and can be mounted to a wall or your endoscope cart for quick testing of your scopes before or after a procedure.
Want to know more about our Airtight Leakage testers?
Many of the flexible endoscopes we receive here at our ESS Service Department can be attributed to fluid invasion. "Fluid invasion" happens when some part of the endoscope allows external fluids (i.e. - body cavity fluids, water, cleaning solution, etc.) to get inside the parts of the endoscope that were never meant to come in contact with any form of moisture. Just about all medical endoscopes are designed to be water-tight so that the functioning parts of the endoscope (fiber bundles, CCD chip, articulating cables, etc.) stay dry while being used during a procedure or soaked in water and/or cleaning solutions.
Leak testing is the simplest way to help prevent serious (and expensive) damage to the flexible endoscope.
While many manufacturers sell leakage testers, ESS sells the ATT-Series Airtight Leakage Testers with connectors to fit virtually ALL makes and models of endoscopes! It is a simple device that uses air pressure to pressurize your endoscope to see if there is a leak somewhere in the endoscope. They come with a 'bulb' to pump air into the endoscope and a dial to measure the air pressure. Once pumped to the proper pressure (indicated on the dial) the needle on the dial should not show a loss of pressure in the scope. If the needle drops slowly or rapidly for a steady period of time, then you have a leak. If you endoscope comes in contact with some type of fluid (such as a sterilization or cleaning soak) it will be possible for the water or cleaning/sterilization fluid to seep into the internal workings of the endoscope and cause damage. Damages from fluid invasion can be as follows:
Fiber-optic Bundle Separation: otherwise known as "Red Crack," where the individual strands of the fiber-optic bundle separate and become unglued, giving the appearance of a reddish, spider-web pattern (the "Red Crack") across the view through your endoscope. The repair for this would be to send the instrument back to the manufacturer and have them install a new fiber-optic bundle; which could end up costing you thousands of dollars!
Fogging: If fluids get in between the fiber-optic bundle or the CCD chip behind the distal tip's optic lens, you can get a blurred or fogged view through the endoscope, which prevents you from properly viewing your subject through the endoscope.
Internal Corrosion: When fluids get inside the endoscope, the internal metal components can become corroded and/or rusted. This can effect the scope's articulation and the flexibility of the insertion tube. Most, if not all, flexible endoscope have a braided wire sleeve under the insertion tube's outer layer which helps to protect the internal components that run through the insertion tube. If it becomes corroded or rusted, it's flexibility will be hindered. The articulation dials move the flexible distal tip with a series of steel wires lubricated with silicone and is sealed inside the insertion tube. If they come in contact with fluids, the silicone lubrication can become contaminated and prevent the proper operation of the wires. There's also the possibility they can corrode and break away from the angulation controls - thus preventing you from properly operating the distal tip while doing a procedure.
Electronics Failure: Fluid invasion with a video endoscope can be just as devastating. Instead of the fiber bundles, the CCD Chip that records the image from your distal tip lens can become damaged - think of it as dropping your smart phone into a bucket of water and then trying to use it! Probably won't work so well. The fine copper wires that run from the CCD up to the electronic circuit board in the umbilical video connector can become corroded and prevent the signal from getting through. Also, the internal circuit boards, both in the handle (for camera controls in the handle), and the umbilical connector (for connection to the video processor) can become damaged and cease to function.
These can be very disheartening revelations for you and your practice/clinic/hospital. Having to shell out hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair as well as the loss of the use of your endoscope, can cost you time and income; which is extremely frustrating when you realize it could have easily been prevented!
First thing you should do is BUY A LEAKAGE TESTER!
Check out our selection of ATT-Series Leakage Testers over at our online store to see which one is the perfect fit for you!
If you have any questions about the Leakage Testers or how to leak test your endoscope, contact us and we'll help out!
Once you get your Leakage Tester, the best thing to do is to get into the habit of testing your endoscope(s) frequently. They should be tested before and after each procedure to ensure the scope is maintaining its water-tight seal. The ATT-Series Leakage Tester is portable enough that you can keep it on our equipment cart and immediately attach it to the endoscope to test right after your procedure is completed. Sometimes, when threading a biopsy instrument through the biopsy channel, the instrument head can get caught in the tube and make a tear. The biopsy channel is a thing, polyurethane tube that runs down your insertion tube to the distal tip. If you forced your instrument through and think you might have punctured the biopsy channel, a post-procedure leakage test would reveal if that is indeed the case.
If you did tear your insertion tube, or your endoscope fails the leakage test for any other reason, make sure to send it in to our Service Department as quickly as possible! Our service technicians will evaluate and take the best course of action to get your endoscope back to you in tip-top shape!
This instrument features the flat, gripping power of an Alligator Jaw and the precision 'pinch-hook' ability of the Rat Tooth.
The Ratigator is a reusable, repairable, and autoclavable.
It features an ergonomically-designed, thumb-activated, plunger-style handle for ease of use during procedures.
The Ratigator is available in 1.8 mm and 2.4 mm outer diameters to accommodate most endoscope biopsy channels and the 8 mm or 15 mm wide jaw opening can grasp most tissue and foreign objects in a body cavity.
These instruments are constructed of surgical stainless steel for years of use.
The Ratigator can easily be sterilized using soaking, autoclave, or ETO gas methods.
Want to see the Ratigator in action?
Check out this video of the Ratigator removing a tube of lotion from a canine patient.
This is the perfect time to get your pets ready in case a disaster hits.
Unfortunately, many pets get separated from their families during disasters, which is why it is essential to plan for them when preparing for emergency situations.
Follow these pet preparedness tips from Ready.gov.
Include your pets in your emergency plans
Build a separate emergency kit for your pets
Make sure to keep digital records and/or pictures to identify your pet after a disaster in case you become separated
Create a list of places that accept pets if an emergency happens
When preparing your emergency plan:
ID your pet. Make sure your pet's tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Also consider microchipping your pets.
Make sure to have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
Make an emergency kit. You can find a full item list here.
Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can't escape.
During the disaster:
Bring your pets inside immediately.
Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends, and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
Caring for your pet after the disaster:
If you leave town after a disaster, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.
The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.
Tips for Large Animals.
If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.
Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care, and handling equipment.
If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.