ASGE Reassures Patients of Endoscopy Safety
Oak Brook, Ill. – February 28, 2008 – The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) wants to reassure patients that gastrointestinal endoscopy is a safe and effective procedure. The recent news that patients at an endoscopy center in Nevada may have been infected with hepatitis C that could have been spread when clinic staff used unsafe injection practices related to the administration of anesthesia medication shines the spotlight on the importance of infection control practices. This incident should not deter patients from undergoing any endoscopic procedure, as infections such as this occur rarely.
“It is important to realize that the exposures did not result from the procedure itself but from the use of unsafe injection practices related to the medication administration. Endoscopy, when practiced by expertly trained physicians who follow the practice guidelines set forth by the ASGE, is a safe, well-tolerated and potentially life-saving procedure,” said Grace H. Elta, MD, FASGE, president of the ASGE.
The ASGE is committed to setting the highest-quality standards for gastrointestinal endoscopy through its safety guidelines and the training of its members so that patients receive the best and safest care possible.
About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Founded in 1941, the mission of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is to be the leader in advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 10,000 physician members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education.
Endoscopy is performed by specially-trained physicians called endoscopists using the most current technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Using flexible, thin tubes called endoscopes, endoscopists are able to access the human digestive tract without incisions via natural orifices. Endoscopes are designed with high-intensity lighting and fitted with precision devices that allow viewing and treatment of the gastrointestinal system. In many cases, screening or treatment of conditions can be delivered via the endoscope without the need for further sedation, treatment or hospital stay.