At present, UK field hospitals use standard flexible bronchoscopes which require specialised disinfection services that are not integral to the hospital. This leads to prolonged turnover of used bronchoscopes as they have to be sent away to external facilities, which takes 1-3 days and is dependent on air transport to other facilities. In contingency operations, off site sterilisation facilities may not be available. There is a need for a bronchoscope system which can be rapidly cleaned and reused. We evaluated the Vision Sciences EndoSheath Bronchoscopy system, which uses a disposable outer sheath to remove the need for specialised disinfection. We report our experience of using this system in a deployed field hospital in Afghanistan.
Respiratory medicine, bronchoscope, disposable sheath