One of Dr. Jonathan Kurman’s favorite benefits of single-use bronchoscopes is knowing that he starts every case with a “perfect” scope.
“Single-use is the gold standard,“ said Kurman, director of interventional pulmonology at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, in a recent webinar presented by the Society for Advanced Bronchoscopy and sponsored by Ambu. “There’s nothing cleaner than a scope that’s never been used before.”
Kurman tackled the perennial debate of single-use vs. reusable by noting that single-use scopes are always ready when you are, erase repair costs from the bronchoscopy equation, improve workflow and cause less environmental impact than reusables, after factoring in reprocessing, chemicals, water and energy.
“The gap is closing between single-use flexible bronchoscopes and reusable bronchoscopes, if it hasn’t already closed completely,” he said of performance.
He likened the evolution of single-use bronchoscopes to that of electric vehicles. For a while, there were just one or two players, but there’s been an explosion in the past four or five years to create a far more crowded market.
Kurman organized a team of colleagues to do a comparative study of single-use vs. reusable bronchoscopes in cadavers to better assess device effectiveness. The team included Dr. Ajay Wagh, an interventional pulmonologist at the University of Chicago, who served as the webinar moderator.
The study evaluated the Ambu aScope 5 Broncho HD System, the Ambu aScope 4, the Boston Scientific EXALT Model B Large, the Olympus H-Steriscope Large and the Verathon B-Flex Large against the reusable Olympus BF-1TH190.
The researchers found that no single-use bronchoscope was superior to the reusable Olympus BF-1TH190 in every category, but Ambu’s aScope 5 was equivalent to or superior in the most categories.
“The perfect single-use bronchoscope does not exist,” he said. “There’s more work to do. We have not reached the pinnacle yet.”
He presented that research in a poster in October 2022 at the World Congress for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (WCBIP) in Marseille and plans to publish it soon.
Is Single-Use Ready For the Bronch Suite?
Many clinicians have preconceived notions about what a single-use flexible bronchoscope can and should be able to do, likely based on prior experience with older scopes, Kurman said.
As he shared procedural images from the next-generation Ambu bronchoscope, Kurman made the case for the readiness of single-use bronchoscopes for the bronch suite.
Kurman has adopted a hybrid model in his bronch suite, choosing single-use flexible bronchoscopes for procedures such as bronchoscopic lung volume reduction or when deploying endobronchial valves for persistent air leak. He also opts for single-use scopes in cases with a high probability of scope damage.
To learn about that and much more, access the on-demand webinar below.