Experience With the Use of Single-Use Disposable Bronchoscope in the ICU in a Tertiary Referral Center of Singapore

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Background:Flexible bronchoscopy is performed frequently in intensive care units (ICUs) for various indications using the reusable conventional bronchoscope (CB). Recently, “single-use disposable bronchoscope” (SB) was introduced into the health care industry. The purpose of this study was to compare the utility of SB with CB in ICU.Methods:A retrospective review of medical records of patients undergoing flexible bronchoscopy in the ICUs in the year 2015.Results:Ninety-three patients undergoing flexible bronchoscopy in the ICU were studied. Eighty-three bronchoscopies were performed using SB in 71 patients, and 24 using CB in 22 patients. The most common indications for using the SB were percutaneous tracheostomy [n=37 (44.6%)] in neuro-ICU, followed by collecting specimens for microbiological evaluation [n=20 (24.1%)] in the medical ICU. Airway inspection [8 (9.6%)], bronchial toilet [8 (9.6%)], hemoptysis [5 (6%)], and intubation [3 (3.6%)] were other indications for which SB was used. Microbiological yield of SB was 70% (14/20) versus 70% (7/10) for CB (P=1.0). The median interval between identification of the need-to-start of the procedure was shorter with SB (10 min) versus CB (66 min, P=0.01), whereas the cost was similar, SGD450 versus SGD472, respectively. In addition, less (3 personnel) were needed to perform bronchoscopy with SB versus 5 with CB with additional resource sparing effect in terms of nursing personnel having to wheel the CB equipment to ICU.Conclusions:SB is equivalent in performance to CB in ICU. In addition, the SB may confer clinical, economic, and logistical advantages over the CB.

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