High quality pulmonary care with single-use scopes

Bronchoscopy is a clinical area that holds a particularly high risk of infection. The PENTAX Medical ONE Pulmo™ single-use bronchoscope was developed for situations where a risk patient is involved – either immunocompromised or with a disease. We speak to Prof. Felix Herth, Medical Director of the Department of Internal Medicine and Pneumology at the Thoraxklinik Heidelberg, Germany, who explains how potential vulnerabilities of cross contamination are avoided with this solution.

To what extent does the PENTAX Medical ONE Pulmo contribute to improving patient safety?

Felix Herth: The advantage of single-use bronchoscopes is minimizing the risk of cross-contamination from one patient to another, while still providing physicians with all the features needed, such as angulation, suction capacity and HD image quality. From both patient and physician perspectives, another benefit is how quickly the solution can be used in practice by simply turning the monitor on and connecting the scope. This is especially beneficial for situations where the whole tower was previously brought into the ICU room. There is now an alternative solution, which is comparable to a reusable scope.

What is your advice to other hospitals that consider adopting single-use bronchoscopes?

It depends on which procedures and how many of them. If you perform bronchoscopies in specific situations, like the ICU, single-use is the better solution since you eliminate the reprocessing unit and training of personnel. And, having held different single-use bronchoscopes in my hand, I can say the PENTAX Medical ONE Pulmo is comparable to reusable bronchoscopes when it comes to angulation. The suction might even be better and that is a big advantage.

Since single-use scopes cannot be re-used and therefore result in more waste, how can you justify using a single-use product?

After having used the PENTAX Medical single-use scope, it is a burden to throw it away – especially when considering its CO2 footprint. Physicians have ongoing debates with medical device companies about the solutions they’re offering, with the aim to reach a positive balance there.

The advantages with single-use scopes are the reduced risk of any cross contamination, eliminating the whole reprocessing process and immediate use of the solution. However, we have to accept that we are also producing more material that is thrown away after a procedure. For that reason, I believe it is a company’s responsibility to inform physicians about what it is doing to compensate the waste produced.

Listen to PENTAX Medical’s latest podcast episode to learn more about sustainability in endoscopy.