Processors and Light Sources in the OR

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.

Due to its relatively huge size and envelope, SARS-CoV-2 is very prone to chemical and physical attack.

For its removal and also inactivation, washing hands with soap and water over about 20 seconds is regarded as highly effective measure. Hand sanitizers, preferably based on alcohol (iso-propanol and ethanol) are as well highly effective as long as they have labelled virucidal properties*.?

The soap as well as the alcohol dissolve the fat membrane of the envelope and the virus falls apart like a house of cards and becomes inactive. ?Please follow the indicated contact times of the chemistry and make sure that it covers every part of the hand.?

*classification as ‘limited’ and ‘full’ virucidal disinfectants ?according to EN14476 / EN17111 or national institutes as the DVV (German Association for Virus Diseases). ?Watch the labelling on your disinfectant. ?‘limited virucidal*’ (= effective against enveloped viruses) or ?‘full virucidal*’ (= effective against enveloped and naked viruses).?Therefore even disinfectants labelled as ‘limited virucidal’ are effective against SARS-CoV-2.

Wearing PPE protects you against transmission of pathogens during reprocessing. Ensure the correct use of personnel protective equipment (PPE), especially to protect mucosa in mouth, nose, and eyes from getting into contact with aerosols/droplets. For specific guidance on appropriate PPE in the case of COVID-19 as well as the correct donning and removal, please refer to national and global guidance such as from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Endoscopy Organization (WEO), or ESGENA (European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates).

Sample guidance for donning and removing personal protective equipment (PPE)