Martinsburg VA Medical Center

 

Martinsburg VAMC Premiers Disposable Duodenoscopes

A nurse demonstrates how to use a disposable duodenoscope. Duodenoscopes are a flexible, lighted tube instrument used by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians during procedures that are used to diagnose and treat Veterans with what can be life-threatening diseases such as tumors or cancers in the pancreas or bile ducts, as well as infections and gallstones.

By Chiray Weatherholtz
Friday, July 23, 2021
The Martinsburg VAMC Medical Service (VAMC) is excited to debut new, single use duodenoscope technology that safeguards Veterans even more by reducing the possibility of health care associated infections to almost zero.

Duodenoscopes are a flexible, lighted tube instrument used by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians during procedures that are used to diagnose and treat Veterans with what can be life-threatening diseases such as tumors or cancers in the pancreas or bile ducts, as well as infections and gallstones.

One of these procedures is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) which is a safer and less invasive alternative to surgery and can be performed on an outpatient basis.

However, despite adherence to strict and rigorous protocols for the disinfection, there is always the minute possibility of Health care Associated Infections (HAIs) when using reusable medical equipment. This is especially true of duodenoscopes, which are complex instruments with many small working parts.

A single use duodenoscope eliminates the need for reprocessing and allows physicians to use a new, completely sterile device for every procedure. This breakthrough device for patient safety was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2020.

At the Martinsburg VAMC, Medical Service is excited to debut this new disposable technology, which further safeguards its Veterans. “The single use duodenoscope gives our Veterans the peace of mind knowing their medical equipment has never been used on another patient,” says Dr. Amr Elgamal, Acting Chief of Medicine.

While the FDA continues to make a push for more modern design features that eliminate the need for duodenoscope disinfection, the Martinsburg VAMC stays ahead of the curve by solely the disposable version.

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