Center Valley, Pa.-based Olympus announces that it supports the updated safety recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which include new recommendations regarding bronchoscope reprocessing and the use of single-use bronchoscopes when appropriate. 

In its June 25 Safety Communication, “Flexible Bronchoscopes and Updated Recommendations for Reprocessing: FDA Safety Communication,” the FDA states that it is “reminding health care facilities and staff responsible for reprocessing bronchoscopes and their accessories about the importance of carefully following the manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions.” The Communication further recommends healthcare providers consider “a single-use bronchoscope in situations where there is increased risk of spreading infection (for example, multidrug resistant microorganisms, immunocompromised patients, or patients with prior disease) or when there is no support for immediate reprocessing of the bronchoscope.”

Read FDA Issues Updated Recommendations for Bronchoscope Reprocessing

Olympus recognizes the importance of the FDA’s communication and stands prepared to aid healthcare providers in navigating decisions around how to appropriately balance their bronchoscopy portfolio. As markets evolve and recommendations for use are updated across many specialty areas, company officials say Olympus will pursue its goal of being the endoscopy partner of choice, developing single-use devices where they make good clinical sense while continuing to provide its traditional re-usable offerings.

“We recognize, like the FDA, that specific situations may warrant the decision to perform a bronchoscopy with a sterile single-use bronchoscope,” says Lynn Ray, global VP and general manager for the Olympus Respiratory Business Unit. “We look forward to continuing to provide a broad portfolio of our industry-leading traditional bronchoscopes, as well as an ever-growing line of single-use bronchoscopes to meet the needs of our customers and to provide the right endoscope for every patient.”

Olympus offers a broad portfolio of traditional and single-use bronchoscopes for the U.S. market, allowing physicians to prioritize on a case-by-case basis depending on procedural and clinical needs. When a single-use bronchoscope is preferred, such as in situations recommended by the FDA, Olympus offers the Vathin H-Steriscope and the Veran SPiN Vision single-use bronchoscopes, which include seven different size options, ranging from ultra-slim to larger bronchoscopes with wide instrument channels designed for therapeutic procedures. 

Regarding recommendations from the FDA specific to bronchoscope reprocessing, Olympus flexible bronchoscopes can be safely and effectively used following the Olympus Instructions for Use (IFU) provided with each device. Health care facilities and the staff members responsible for reprocessing bronchoscopes and their accessories should understand the importance of carefully following the manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions.

The Olympus recommendations for visual inspection and proper maintenance and repair of bronchoscopes and accessories should be observed. For additional information including the appropriate use of accessories, detergents, and disinfectants, refer to the information provided with your bronchoscope or contact the manufacturer directly.