Flexible, channel-less ENT scopes and TEE probes are medical devices widely used in the medical world. They are fragile and expensive, and must be carefully maintained and disinfected. It is therefore important that disinfection equipment does not affect the functioning of an ENT cope. An ENT scope is disinfected after each use, but how can you ensure that fragile felxible ENT scopes can withstand repeated disinfection?
Material compatibility testing ensures the safety and longevity of almost every medical device on the market. And ENT scopes disinfected with UV based light are no exception. But does UV based technology have an effect on ENT scopes? And if there is an effect, how do you measure it?
Who performs a compatibility test?
In order to prevent cleaning agents and disinfectants from damaging or impairing ENT scopes, the manufacturers of these agents and of ENT scopes work closely together. The ENT scopes are often disinfected thousands of times in order to analyse and monitor the long-term effects. Products are deemed to be safe after testing and establishing material compatibility, and may then be used together. The manufacturer of the ENT scopes guarantees that the product can be safely disinfected with the cleaner, disinfectant or equipment.
It is important for both the manufacturer and the user that an ENT scope is compatible with the disinfection method used. A damaged or broken ENT scope can have negative consequences for a healthcare facility. After all, an ENT scope is expensive, and repairing it costs a lot of money.
What is checked and measured in a compatibility test
During a compatibility test, visual and functional aspects are measured after 200 disinfection cycles. This revolves around the following:
- Is the lens still in one piece or is it broken?
- Is the lens working properly and is vision good?
- Are the labels not faded?
- Are all the buttons still in good working order?
- Does the insertion tube contain fractures or tears
- Are there any holes?
- Is there water damage?
- Is everything still in good working order?
- How far can the wiring and insertion tube move?
Measurements are taken before and after every 200 tests. If the results are good, photographs will be taken and theENT scope will be tested another 200 times. This continues until 1000 to 3000 cycles have been completed, with the total amount of cycles depending on a manufacturer's protocol.
After the tests, UV based technology from the UV Smart D60 proved to have no effect on the functioning of the ENT scopes.
Compatibility testing and UV based technology
To verify the effect of UV based light on ENT scopes, compatibility tests are also done. UV Smart has conducted compatibility tests on ENT scopes with several manufacturers, such as Pentax Medical, XION and Karl Storz. The ENT scopes were measured before and after every 200 cycles, up to 3000 cycles, and the results were very positive. After the tests, it was found that UV based light from the UV Smart D60 has no effect on the operation of the ENT scopes. Therefore, the UV Smart D60 has received compatibility statements from the manufacturer.
To learn more about UV based technology, please also read UV basedlight in the medical world: Pitfalls and opportunities