All of the speech language pathologists (SLPs) who participated in a recent study were able to successfully complete a flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) procedure using a single-use rhinolaryngoscope.
The study, which appeared as a poster recently presented at the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM), included 24 SLPs from 16 sites and used the Ambu aScope 4 RhinoLaryngo Slim and the aView 2 Advance monitor. The study’s primary objective was to measure procedural success, meaning the ability to complete the procedure without the need for a secondary endoscope.
The Ambu scopes received a high overall rating and scores of “excellent” in each performance measure evaluated. The facilities involved represented a national sample, with participants from locations in Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas and Washington, D.C.
“By eliminating the availability and portability concerns of traditional endoscopy equipment and possessing the documentation capabilities required for FEES, single-use rhinolaryngoscopes can meet the growing demand of FEES procedures and create a streamlined workflow for SLPs and clinicians,” the authors wrote.
Four of the study authors are current or former Ambu employees. One study participant was a student who did not perform any procedures, so only completed some of the ratings and was not included in the primary outcome.
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None of the clinicians who participated needed to use a secondary scope to complete a procedure, and all of them rated the scope’s performance as excellent in all categories.
Among the scope attributes rated in the study were ease of use, maneuverability, image quality and convenience.
One of the key advantages of single-use scopes is the ability for SLPs and clinicians to take the needed procedure to patients wherever they are, without being limited to specific procedure rooms by stationary endoscopy equipment or cumbersome towers. Clinicians also will not be hampered by potential delays due to reprocessing and repairs.
In addition, Ambu’s portable display device enables easy recording and documentation.
The study cited research documenting the cost of a single reusable nasopharyngolaryngoscope and digital video tower with components at more than $33,000, excluding annual repair and reprocessing costs.
Immediate access to a FEES exam is important since it can expedite patient care and eliminate delays. And because single-use scopes are lightweight, they are easier for clinicians to use for the longer period of time required to conduct the exams which involve feeding the patient.
That’s according to Dr. Eric Blicker, who spoke to Single-Use Endoscopy about how disposable scopes improve productivity without compromising quality. He has 23 years of experience performing the procedure and trains extensively in the field.