Endoscopy and Benefits of Cover Sheaths

Endoscopy and Benefits of Cover Sheaths 

What is Endoscopy? 

Endoscopy is a common technique used in several procedures for screening and diagnosis.  It is minimally invasive compared to traditional surgical procedures, making it safer and less expensive than open surgery.  The main fields for endoscopic techniques are:

Otolaryngology, urology and gastroenterology. 

The Product and Applications: 

Flexible endoscopes are widely used in hospitals, clinics and physician's offices primarily on an outpatient basis.  Cover manufactures sheaths for otolaryngology (ENT) flexible endoscopes.  Typical ENT procedures involving these endoscopes include diagnostic exams testing for: throat cancer, sleep apnea, chronic cough, hoarseness, vocal cord dysfunction and swallowing disorders. 

ENT Endoscopes:

These endoscopes are used to examine ears, nose, throat and larynx for diagnostic purposes.  Usually, these endoscopes do not have operative channels, however there are those with channels that are used to perform procedures such as biopsies, removal of polyps and tests for swallowing disorders.  

Potential Problems with Conventional Flexible Endoscopes:

Endoscopes are important instruments intended for repeated use so proper cleaning is a critical issue.  Flexible endoscopes come into contact with a patient's tissue, saliva, blood, urine or stool so proper cleaning and disinfection is essential to avoid the risk of contaminating other patients or medical staff.  Reprocessing endoscopes is rather expensive and time-consuming; the United States FDA estimates that proper reprocessing takes at least one hour, if cleaned according to their guidelines.  The endoscopes must be inspected, cleaned, disinfected, rinsed, dried and stored properly.   Furthermore, repeated cleaning in toxic chemicals may impair the lens or channels of the endoscope, thereby requiring expensive repairs or reducing its lifespan. 

The Benefits of Cover Sheaths: 

Sterile:  Cover sheaths are sterile and ready for immediate use.  When an endoscope is covered by a sheath, it never comes into contact with a patient's tissue or fluids and therefore, both patients and physicians have fewer risks of being infected by contaminated endoscopes. 

Time-Saving: The use of a sheath eliminates the need for reprocessing routines as required with uncovered endoscopes.  This allows for more procedures during a day.

Need For Less Equipment: Using Cover sheaths means you do not have to invest in more instruments.  In busy clinics that do many endoscopic exams, savings on inventory may be very significant.

Longer Endoscopic Lifetime:  The use of Cover sheaths saves the endoscopes from the harsh, toxic chemicals used in the procedure of reprocessing.  This means fewer repairs to the instruments and savings in maintenance costs.

Safety:  By eliminating the highly toxic chemicals used in reprocessing, the health risks for both patients and medical personnel are significantly reduced.