Ontario docs are leaving – patients have trouble finding good doctors

{October 25, 2011}   Recent Ottawa Health Scare – Dirty Endoscopes – Disinfection vs Sterilization

How safe/clean  is equipment used on patients? 

“On Monday, officials identified the clinic and doctor found to have neglected proper procedures for disinfecting gastroscopy and colonoscopy equipment over a 10-year period.” 


Many patients undergo these tests daily, so it’s a BIG DEAL. The article states the following:

“Endoscopes are cleaned using a process that has several steps to make sure that they are properly scrubbed and disinfected between patients,” the letters state. “An inspection of Dr. Farazli’s clinic by the College (of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario) found that some of these procedures were not always followed”. 


 The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) often closes the barn door after the horse has bolted. The College, of course, is not in a position to ever control these situations. Who knows what goes on in other clinics around the country right now. The doctor has staff/techinicians responsible for cleaning the equipment and is hardly likely to oversee the process. Also doubtful that every piece of equipment is tested for proper disinfection/sterilization after cleaning. If that were the case, this could not have happened.  Technicians and doctors may come from countries where the hygiene standard is lower than in Canada. It’s not hard to imagine that with a busy schedule, procedures are not as closely followed as they should be, but this went on for 10 years !!!  Other reasons for “skipping” procedures might be anything from “not feeling well that day”, being “hurried along” to “bearing a grudge against anything or anybody” or just being “lazy” and counting on not being found out. Short of using disposable equipment for every patient, neither the Government nor the College can guarantee this is not happening elsewhere, as it did some years ago in Ontario.

If you can afford it, take your own disposable equipment (you’d have to make sure it was really the equipment you provided that they are using).

If you can’t afford it, take your chances and hope for the best.   Yuck !!!  

Sterilization is not achieved when cleaning equipment, only  “cleaning” and “disinfection” as quoted in the article.  Here is a link explaining the difference:   http://www.microrao.com/micronotes/sterilization.pdf   If they can’t sterilize but only disinfect, then new and sterile equipment should be used for each patient instead of letting the patient assume the risk. Especially bitter pill to swallow if you ended up with Hepatitis or HIV through such a test.

Clearly Disinfection is NOT Sterilization.  Yet, all that is required are Disinfection and Cleaning of equipment as quoted in CPSO”s News Release.  “There is a very small chance that a patient may have been exposed to an infectious disease. Failure to properly clean and disinfect equipment used for these procedures could result in the transmission of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and/or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”

Boy, this sure stopped me in my tracks. Thanks to the news coverage I now know differently. I’ll think twice next time someone wants to stick a tube down my throat (not mentioning other places). You get the picture. 


The doctor is now suing for undiagnosed back problems (see link below).  If she is ill enough that she would sue, then what was she doing working and how well did she perform? Up to standard or below? Usually people sue for damages because they are unable to work. She did work and must have felt she did a proper job without endangering her patients’ health. So why is she now suing, basically admitting that she could not work properly?  And if she states she did work up to standard, then why is she suing?  She must be thinking the best defense is a good offense.



“MississsaugaGuy” commented:

“Cost is the issue….

Processing endoscopes properly is expensive. Special cleaning is required and then a special scope sterilizer. The process is relatively long and you need to have more scopes in inventory to make the system work. Sterilizers are $40,000 each and you need at least 2. Scopes are $22,000 to $35,000 each. and you’de need at least 2 – 3 of each type to operate properly. You also need staff trained to clean and process scopes properly. This issue is about money and placing patients deliberately at risk to avoid the investment of $$ to operate safely.”

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