The study, authored by Ambu consultant Dr. Hudson Garrett, analyzed procedures at inpatient hospitals as well as outpatient ambulatory facilities.
He found that 3.6 percent of patients treated with a single-use, flexible bronchoscope were readmitted within 30 days, compared to 7.7 percent of patients whose procedures used reusable scopes.
“The data analysis demonstrates significant clinical benefits of single-use bronchoscopes in reducing readmission rates and patient risk,” Garrett said in an Ambu news release. “To reduce these risks, the use of sterile single-use bronchoscopes should be considered to eliminate reprocessing failures, improve overall operational efficiency and reduce potential acquisition of healthcare-associated infections.”
Reusable scopes must be reprocessed between patients to clean the devices of contaminants and sterilize or disinfect them to protect against microorganisms that can cause infections. The FDA has identified bronchoscopes as more likely than other scopes to transmit microbes and cause infection if improperly reprocessed.
The FDA recommends health care providers discuss the benefits and risks of reprocessed bronchoscopes with patients and consider single-use bronchoscopes when there is increased risk of spreading infection, such as from multidrug-resistant microorganisms, immunocompromised patients or patients with prion disease.
Ambu launched its first single-use flexible endoscope in 2009 and has been a leading proponent of disposable devices for fighting cross-contamination.
“This study adds to the growing body of evidence and regulatory guidance showing that all hospitals should transition to single-use bronchoscopy as the standard of care, given the clinical, financial, and operational benefits,” Ambu CEO Juan Jose Gonzalez said in the news release.