Stories about single-use vs. reusable bronchoscopes attracted the most readers last year.

Patient Safety

Read Our Top 10 Pulmonology Stories From 2022

"The time to evaluate the use of single-use endoscopes is now. By using these sterile devices, the risk of device-related contamination is eliminated, patient safety is improved, and the cost of care is decreased and optimized.”

The three most read stories of 2022 centered on reusable vs. disposable endoscopes and the evolving debate in the case for single-use.

A look at bronchoscopy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was another most-read piece.

Check out the 10 most popular pulmonology stories on Single-Use Endoscopy from the past year and click here to sign up for our newsletters.

10. Early Bronchoscopy After Cardiac Arrest Helps Patients Avoid Ventilators

Patients who suffered cardiac arrest outside the hospital had better outcomes when bronchoscopy was performed soon after admission, research shows.

Data found an association with early bronchoscopy and a shorter intubation period, according to a study by Dr. Gregor S. Zimmermann and others, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

“Early bronchoscopy within 48 hours after hospital admission with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) was associated with higher rates of ventilator-free patients in our retrospective cohort study,” the authors wrote.

9. Study: Bronchoscopy Protocols Enacted For COVID-19 Should Be Permanent

The lessons in bronchoscopy protection taught by the novel coronavirus are ones that should be permanently adopted.

So concluded Italian researchers in a review entitled, “The Role of Bronchoscopy in the Diagnosis and Management of Patients With SARS-CoV-2 Infection,” published in Diagnostics.

“It has become increasingly clear that bronchoscopy can be performed safely in all the scenarios in which it is clinically indicated,” wrote Dr. Davide Biondini and others from the University of Padova, in Padova, Italy. “Moreover, if protective equipment is correctly used, the rate of infection of the healthcare personnel reported was low.”

8. Why Endoscopists Should Thank Sword Swallowers For Their Pioneering Work

Every critical care doctor or other physician who uses a bronchoscope or other endoscope to diagnose and treat patients should remember to thank a sword swallower on the last Saturday of February.

Especially since those sword swallowers could just as easily have pursued snake handling or walking on hot coals — other popular ways to impress the gods 4,000 years ago when sword swallowing first began. And who knows where endoscopy would be today if those ancient people had made a different career choice.

International Sword Swallower’s Awareness Day, celebrated on Feb. 26, 2022, is a day when sword swallowers around the world will swallow swords together — to raise awareness of this perhaps peculiar art as well as medical science.

7. Webinar: The Clinical Role of Single-Use Bronchoscopy

Single-use endoscopes are projected to be a $2.5 billion business by 2025,  given the growth in clinical, hospital use and diagnostic center use, experts say.

Among the drivers of that demand: the rise in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which ranks as the third-leading cause of death globally, and more cases of lung cancer.

Also, an aging population requires more ICU admissions, meaning greater demand for airway assessments in coming years. That’s according to Dr. Suveer Singh, a respiratory and critical care physician and interventional bronchoscopist in London, during a webinar on the clinical role of single-use bronchoscopy.

6. Here’s What High Readmissions Costs Hospitals

At the end of a decade of federal oversight of hospital readmissions, Medicare is levying penalties on  nearly half the nation’s hospitals in the form of reduced payments due to excessive revisits.

The average penalty is a .64 percent reduction per Medicare patient stay from October 2021 through September 2022, according to a recent analysis in Kaiser Health News. Those fines can add up significantly — they averaged $217,000 per hospital in 2018, according to a congressional commission.

The maximum penalty, 3 percent, was imposed on 39 hospitals, while 547 hospitals saw so few readmissions that they received no penalty. Payments were reduced to 2,499 hospitals, 47 percent of all U.S. facilities.

5. Respiratory Care Week 2022: The Future of Respiratory Care

Daniel Garrett arrived at his new post as executive director of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) at “a watershed moment” — just as the worst part of the global pandemic was over.

Still, the impact of the pandemic, which has claimed more than 6.6 million lives, more than 1 million of them in the U.S., is far from over. Not only does SARS-CoV-2 continue to target victims, its effects also linger in the form of staff shortages and stress levels of those left to do the work.

A certified association executive, Garrett, who is based in Irving, Texas, was appointed AARC executive director in May 2022. He most recently served as executive director/CEO of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

4. Is Diagnostic Bronchoscopy Safe in Patients with COPD?

Diagnostic bronchoscopy is an effective tool for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its related diseases, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis.

“The major complication rate of diagnostic bronchoscopy in patients with COPD was acceptable and low,” wrote Dr. Congcong Li and others in a study out of China published in Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine.

Because COPD is a major risk factor for lung cancer and infection and often coexists with other diseases, there was concern that the weaker status of those patients could lead to more serious complications when bronchoscopy was performed.

3. The Evolving Reusable vs. Single-Use Endoscope Debate

The single-use vs. reusable endoscope debate has evolved in recent years from one of cost, to performance and now a broader conversation about risk management — what can be done that’s in the best interest of the patient.

So said Dr. Hudson Garrett Jr. in a webinar entitled: “Risks Between Reusable vs. Disposable Flexible Endoscopes: A Clinical Risk Management Perspective.” The webinar was sponsored by Ambu Inc.

The COVID-19 global pandemic put the power of single-use endoscopes to keep patients and healthcare workers safe on full display. At the same time, rapid advancements in single-use technology have made more complex procedures possible, and new analyses show the benefits that single-use scopes can offer by eliminating large amounts of reprocessing wastewater and the required personal protective equipment (PPE).

2. 5 Reasons to Switch to Single-Use Endoscopes

As the global pandemic entered a third year and federal guidance on endoscope reprocessing highlighted potential cross-contamination issues with reusables, the case for single-use endoscopes has grown even stronger.

Dr. Hudson Garrett, an infection prevention specialistwrote in an op-ed in the January 2022 issue of Healthcare Hygiene Magazine that “the time to evaluate the use of single-use endoscopes is now. By using these sterile devices, the risk of device-related contamination is eliminated, patient safety is improved, and the cost of care is decreased and optimized.”

1. Study: Single-Use Bronchoscopes Show Better Flexion Than Reusables

A recent study found that three of four single-use flexible bronchoscopes that were tested performed better in flexion and extension than reusable competitors.

The results were part of a poster presentation at the World Congress for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (WCBIP) 2022 in Marseille, France, based on research by Dr. Jonathan Kurman at the Medical College of Wisconsin and others. Ambu provided funding for the evaluation and testing.

The conventional wisdom in interventional pulmonology has long been that reusable bronchoscopes perform better than their single-use counterparts, but this new research counters that thinking. The latest single-use flexible bronchoscopes are a significant advance­ment over prior generations, according to the authors.

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