In order to perform a complete reprocessing procedure of a reusable bronchoscope, a large number of single-use materials are used.
A study made by professors from the Centre for Life Cycle Engineering, University of Southern Denmark, has compared the environmental impact of single-use and reusable flexible bronchoscopes.(1)
This study aims to compare carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent emissions and resource consumption from a single-use bronchoscope to a reusable flexible bronchoscope.
The analysis shows that the materials used for the cleaning operation are substantial when comparing the two types of bronchoscopes.
Due to the use of detergents and personal protective equipment, the indication is that reusable bronchoscopes are associated with the same or a higher level of material and energy consumption as well as emissions of CO2 equivalents and resource consumption compared to single-use scopes.
Health-care activities protect and restore health and save lives. But what about the waste and by-products they generate?
Of the total amount of waste generated by health-care activities, about 85% is general, non-hazardous waste comparable to domestic waste. The remaining 15% is considered hazardous material that may be infectious, chemical or radioactive.
Infectious waste: waste contaminated with blood and other bodily fluids (e.g. from discarded diagnostic samples), cultures and stocks of infectious agents from laboratory work (e.g. waste from autopsies and infected animals from laboratories), or waste from patients with infections (e.g. swabs, bandages and disposable medical devices);(3)
After use, the Broncoflex® is considered to be contaminated. To avoid any contamination, it must be discarded in accordance with local directives concerning the disposal of contaminated medical devices comprising electronic components.(4)
Today, our environmental policy consists of several actions:
“Specialization through Innovation” is our DNA.
Starting in 2006, we have conceived and continue to develop tomorrow’s innovations in single-use endoscopy. Our R&D and production department are always working with health care professionals to develop better and innovative medical device.
Our manufacture site has the ISO 13485 ; it represents the requirements for a comprehensive quality management system for the design and manufacture of medical devices.
As the Broncoflex® is a single-use device and it’s discard after use, the consideration of weight has always been a focus.
The weight of our device is only 124g and 127g for the Broncoflex® Agile and Vortex, respectively.
Thus, the quantities of hazardous waste are reduced to a minimum.
Today, the Broncoflex® is the lightest single-use bronchoscope on the market.
The Broncoflex® is produced and assembled in our manufacturing facility in Tours, France.
We have decided to work with local components suppliers which are geographically close to our factory.
This allows us to benefits the mention “Made in France” but also a short circuit and low carbon footprint during transport.
We have a partnership with a dedicated company Paprec.
Starting from its historic activity, paper recycling, Paprec has diversified and it is now the third-biggest waste treatment company in France.
Paprec is collecting and recycling all the waste from our manufacturing facility in Tours, France.
From an end-user point of view, in addition to the light weight of the Broncoflex®, the primary and secondary packaging (thermoformed blister and carton box) are also 100% recyclable. Thanks to a specific ink, the carton box can be recycling without any additional treatment and it’s also 100% made of recyclable material.
Finally, end of life devices are also collected on site, inside hospitals. In accordance with Directive 2002/96/EC on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), our monitor Screeni® HD belongs to category 8. Our partner Paprec, accredited by the French Public Authorities, is taking care to collect, decontaminate and recycle each component of our HD visualization system, the Screeni® HD.
We currently are looking for a partnership with a dedicated non-governmental organization in order to reduce plastic pollution. More information will be published soon.
References to read:
(1) Sorensen et al. Comparative Study on Environmental Impacts of Reusable and Single-Use Bronchoscopes
(4) Instruction for Use Broncoflex®