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Memorial first to switch to single-use duodenoscopes

Memorial Health System is the first institution in the United States to convert to a new sterile, single-use duodenoscope by Ambu USA for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedures.

Dr. Juan Tejada, gastroenterologist and advanced endoscopist with Memorial Health System, became the first physician in the state–and one of the first in the country–to use the technology.

Utilized in an estimated 600,000 procedures a year in the U.S., duodenoscopes are used to visually examine the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine immediately beyond the stomach. The instruments play a key role in diagnosing and treating conditions such as gallstones, pancreatitis, tumors, liver conditions and cancer in the bile ducts or pancreas. Duodenoscopes are also used in procedures such as biliary interventions, sphincterotomies, stone removals and placement of expandable metal biliary stents.

Studies show that, even with the most stringent cleaning procedures, reusable duodenoscopes can pose a risk of cross-contamination among patients. In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended that endoscope manufacturers transition to new and innovative duodenoscope designs, including single-use scopes and components, to help improve cleaning of the complex instruments and reduce contamination between patients. That risk became heightened once COVID-19 increased awareness around patient safety measures.

“Part of the art of saving lives while using technology is to know when the right time is to change to something simpler, while continuing to keep in mind the human being behind the process. I believe that single-use duodenoscopes move us in this direction” said Dr. Juan Tejada.

The Ambu aScope Duodeno received 510(k) clearance from the FDA in July 2020 and was granted Breakthrough Device Designation, which is given to novel medical devices that have the potential to provide more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.

Ambu’s aScope Duodeno eliminates reprocessing and repairs needed in reusable duodenoscopes. It delivers high-definition imaging of mucosa and anatomical structures in the upper gastrointestinal tract, provides a faster turnaround time to accommodate more patients and enables precise positioning and a 130-degree wide field view. The aScope Duodeno also eliminates the need to use gases for sterilization and/or liquid chemical germicides for high-level disinfection that can impact air and water quality.

“At Memorial Health System, our patients are our top priority and the reason we are committed to using the latest technology to help make their experiences as efficient and safe as possible,” said Bob Williams, director of surgical services. “We are proud to have been one of the first in the country to utilize this new, state-of-the-art technology that reduces risk of infection and allows our doctors and patients to focus on diagnosis and treatment.”

Tejada called the transition “a win for both physicians and patients.

“It allows us to advance patient safety through innovative design and provide the safest and best possible outcomes to our patients,” he said.

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