On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization defined the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 a global pandemic.

As the disease is a respiratory illness and is primarily diagnosed with upper respiratory sampling, this makes the adequate reprocessing of bronchoscopes even more crucial in preventing the spread of the disease within a hospital.

Cori Ofstead, a research epidemiologist, is offering a free webinar through the end of March to educate healthcare professionals about the challenges and common failures associated with reprocessing bronchoscopes.

In marketing her webinar, Ofstead posted on LinkedIn that the novel coronavirus pandemic is proving how vital it is to focus on infection prevention in patient-care areas with instrument reprocessing.

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, though new research also suggests fecal-oral transmission is possible. The virus can also be spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Respiratory sampling is a primary way to test for COVID-19 and sampling is often done with a bronchoscope. New recommendations from the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (AABIP) state physicians should use nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs when testing for COVID-19. If a bronchoscope must be used in diagnosis or treatment of a suspected or confirmed case, AABIP said, the device be disposable.

Single-use bronchoscopes are intended for one-time use and do not require reprocessing, maintenance, or repair.

Ofsteadā€™s prior research has focused on many of the challenges in reprocessing bronchoscopes, ranging from human factors to the design of the flexible endoscopes themselves.

The main objectives of this new webinar include:

  • Exploring the consequences of using damaged or dirty bronchoscopes
  • List some of the factors that increase the risk of complications for bronchoscopy patients
  • Discuss common challenges in bronchoscope reprocessing
  • Show key findings in real world research to support these claims
  • Outline quality assurance strategies to mitigate risk for bronchoscopy patients

Completion of the webinar may result in earned CE credit.

For more information about reprocessing guidelines for flexible bronchoscopes, please visit the Guidelines section of our website.