Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Today, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has announced a final guidance on Ambu’s single-use endoscope, aScope™ 2.
Brain damage or even death could be the result if a clinician is not able to secure a patient’s airway during emergency intubation.
A difficult intubation can be performed successfully with a multiple-use endoscope. This enables the doctor to visualise the upper airways and place an endotracheal tube correctly. However; a multiple-use endoscope is a considerable investment for a hospital and is often not available immediately. It could be at repair. It could be on a different floor. It could be in a different building. Therefore NICE supports hospitals adopting the aScope 2 – an endoscope which is sterile, single-use and can be kept right by the patient’s bed until needed.
Benefits for both patients and health care economy are highlighted in the medical technology guidance on aScope 2 announced by NICE today. The guidance concludes that aScope 2 is an acceptable alternative when a multiple-use endoscope is not available. The guidance says that “(…) the availability of the Ambu aScope 2 in isolated hospital units, obstetric units, operating theatre units and intensive care units is likely to be cost saving”, and that “(…) patient safety would be improved by the adoption of the Ambu aScope 2 in all clinical settings studied.”1
The guidance means that NICE supports all hospitals in England adopting the use of aScope 2 to ensure that scopes are available for managing unexpected difficult airways.
The UK National Tracheostomy Safety Project (NTSP) welcomes the guidance. Speaking on their behalf, Dr Brendan McGrath, Consultant in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine at University Hospital of South Manchester stated: “The NTSP has consistently highlighted the need for immediately available airway equipment to help staff from multidisciplinary backgrounds manage airways and tracheostomies. The NTSP welcomes the conclusions of the NICE Medical Technologies Advisory Committee (MTAC) guidance for the Ambu aScope 2 for use in unexpected difficult airways. The aScope 2 is an important part of the solution to managing challenging airways in a variety of clinical locations and we hope that the guidance is widely adopted throughout the NHS.”
In a comment to the guidance, Lars Marcher, CEO of Ambu, says: “The final guidance represents good news both for patients and clinicians within anaesthesia as ultimately patient safety will improve. Because the economical investment in the aScope 2 is very low when considering the consequences and costs of harmful incidents, hospitals should find this guidance extremely painless to implement. We are encouraged that NICE acknowledges that aScope 2 is able to improve patient safety and at the same time reduce costs for the hospitals.”
More than 20 members of the Medical Technologies Advisory Committee of NICE – including doctors, scientists, professors, health economists and patient representatives – have taken part in reviewing and discussing the clinical and economic data before producing the guidance. In addition, external anaesthetists, who are the experts when it comes to ventilation and ensuring survival in critical situations, were consulted for their view on aScope 2.
The draft guidance was released by NICE on 21 March 2013 and after a period of public consultation the final guidance was issued earlier today.
Lars Marcher, President & CEO, tel. +45 5136 2490, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the NICE web page for the medical technologies guidance on Ambu® aScope™ 2, please go to this site: http://guidance.nice.org.uk/MTG14
The aScope 2 is a sterile, flexible, disposable device that is used for endotracheal intubations in patients with normal or difficult airways, and for management of displaced tracheostomy tubes. It is used to visualise the airway and to aid the placement of an endotracheal tube. It is a portable device that can be used wherever a flexible fibreoptic endoscope is needed for airway management.
Since NICE started the evaluation of aScope 2 in 2012, Ambu has developed the next generation of single-use endoscopes: Ambu® aScope™ 3 and Ambu® aScope™ 3 Slim. The new devices have wider suction channels and a smaller external diameter that can be used in further clinical applications like bedside bronchoscopy and placement of double lumen tubes. Moreover aScope 3 and aScope 3 Slim come with a more versatile monitor.
Find out more about the aScope 2 and aScope 3 on www.ambu.com/visualisation
1 NICE medical technologies guidance: Ambu aScope2 for use in unexpected difficult airways, July 2013, page 24 and 25
Press release: NICE supports Ambu endoscope to improve patient safety and reduce hospital costs