In the context of current discussions surrounding COVID-19, questions have been raised with regard to the safety of endoscopic procedures performed on potentially COVID-19 positive patients, and precautions to be applied while using Olympus equipment, i.e. all Olympus light sources for example CLV-190 or CLV-290.
For clarification it should be noted, that (surgical) models of light sources used in the OR do not have an air supply function,and therefore, the situation is different.
It is important to note that COVID-19 is a novel infectious agent on which limited data and evidence currently exists. Therefore, all current recommendations should be continuously reconsidered and evaluated in light of the latest emerging evidence, learnings and recommendations from various sources, and may need to be modified over time.
With regard to advice for the medical procedure itself, Olympus advises users to adhere to official recommendations of regulatory bodies as well as professional associations, and to review recently-published articles on experiences with SARS-CoV-2.
According to the current state of science, the quality of air used during endoscopic procedures is not specifically defined. In fact, the air quality of the procedureroom is deemed sufficiently safe for staff as well as patient exposure, independent of the infectious status of the patient. Infection prevention and control measures must be applied independently, i.e. with regard to the use of protective equipment for staff as well as for the cleaning and disinfection of theroom and/or processor and light source after every procedure.
With regard to the air quality generated during the procedure via the light source, the air is not specifically treated. As an additional risk limiting procedure, healthcare providers may consider using CO2 during the endoscopic procedure, hence utilizing only gases of a defined medical quality for the patient. This decision should be made by an individual facility’s infection prevention professionals, endoscopy staff and other necessary stakeholders, as using CO2is not specified in the Olympus Instructions for Use accompanying the light source but may serve as an additional risk mitigation strategy to consider for facilities treating COVID-19 positive patients.
While it remains the responsibility of the healthcare provider to make a final risk assessment and decide how and subject to which limitations he or she may use medical equipment, Olympus remains committed to working with our healthcare partners as we all confront the current pandemic.