With the current COVID pandemic: should we use single-use flexible bronchoscopes instead of conventional bronchoscopes?
Critical Care volume 24, Article number: 234 (2020)
We would like to describe the numerous advantages of single-use bronchoscopes over conventional bronchoscopes especially during the COVID pandemic. Recently, Zaidi et al. did a comparative study between single-use and conventional bronchoscopes for bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) . They concluded that with single-use bronchoscopes, they achieved a larger BAL volume yield than conventional bronchoscopes, with comparable cell yield and viability . Better volume yields may potentially reduce post-procedure side effects such as pleuritic chest pain and cough. With single-use devices, the risk of cross infection is eliminated, providing reassurance to researchers and participants . This single-use flexible bronchoscope can be reusable for the same patient and should be stored in his isolate room . Reduced maintenance requirements can be cost effective . In addition, single-use flexible bronchoscopes have been evaluated in the critical care setting with favorable results for BAL, percutaneous tracheostomy, intubation, and suction . Regarding the important question of cost, a recent study suggests benefits from the use of single-use flexible bronchoscopes in terms of cost effectiveness, cross-contamination, and resource utilization . Single-use flexible bronchoscopes could be very useful in the setting of the current coronavirus pandemic. We have already started using them.
Availability of data and materials
Intensive care unit
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Mouritsen JM, Ehlers L, Kovaleva J, Ahmad I, El-Boghdadly K. A systematic review and cost effectiveness analysis of reusable vs. single-use flexible bronchoscopes. Anaesthesia. 2020;75(4):529–40. https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.14891 Epub 2019 Nov 8.
Mankikian J, Ehrmann S, Guilleminault L, Le Fol T, Barc C, Ferrandiere M, et al. An evaluation of a new single-use flexible bronchoscope with a large suction channel: reliability of bronchoalveolar lavage in ventilated piglets and initial clinical experience. Anaesthesia. 2014;69(7):701–6.
We would like to thank Dr. Melissa Jackson for the critical review of the manuscript.
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Honore, P.M., Mugisha, A., Kugener, L. et al. With the current COVID pandemic: should we use single-use flexible bronchoscopes instead of conventional bronchoscopes?. Crit Care 24, 234 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-020-02965-9