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Page updated 9 October 2007
Gastro-intestinal endoscopy on patients with known vCJD or suspected CJD (classical or variant) should not normally be performed. Where clinical need dictates such a procedure on a case of KNOWN vCJD, then a designated CJD endoscope MUST be used. Such a scope is available via a member of the Infection Control Team. All endoscope accessories will be destroyed by incineration after use.
Because of the potential risk of contamination of endoscopes, patients referred for GI endoscopy must have a note from their consultant in their medical records, stating the position with regard to prion disease. It is recommended that the ward SpR responsible for the patient contacts the team performing endoscopy to discuss the possible risks involved. It should be remembered that, in case of suspected diagnosis, the instruments used for the endoscopy should be quarantined until the diagnosis is ascertained. Insertion of PEG tubes non-endoscopically can be arranged via the National Prion Clinic.
Where clinical need dictates a requirement to endoscope a patient with suspected prion disease (classical or variant), the endoscope and all re-usable accessories will need to be quarantined as described above until a definitive diagnosis is available. Single use accessories will be destroyed by incineration.