Health care facilities and providers should complete the transition to fully disposable duodenoscopes and those with disposable components, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week after an analysis of postmarket surveillance studies was completed.
The FDA’s directive updates its April 2020 recommendations on the subject. It cites concerns about cleaning fixed endcap duodenoscopes and the increasing availability of models that eliminate the need for reprocessing.
The announcement highlighted the potential for a dramatic difference in between-patient contamination risk, reducing it “by half or more as compared to reusable, or fixed endcaps.”
“Interim results from one duodenoscope model with a removable component show a contamination rate of just 0.5%, as compared to older duodenoscope models which had contamination rates as high as 6%,” the FDA writes.
Duodenoscopes are used in more than 500,000 procedures each year in the United States and are key in assessing and treating diseases and conditions of the pancreas and bile ducts.
Upgrade to new models to decrease infections
Manufacturers no longer market fixed endcap models in the United States, but some health care facilities continue to use them. The FDA recommends that all fixed endcap models be replaced.
The FDA says some manufacturers are offering replacement programs to upgrade to a model with a disposable component at no cost.
Two fully disposable models and five with disposable components have been cleared by the FDA. (One model is no longer marketed and thus not listed here.)
Additionally, the failure to correctly reprocess a duodenoscope could result in tissue or fluid from one patient transferring to a subsequent patient.
“In rare cases, this can lead to patient-to-patient disease transmission,” the FDA says.