[Cost analysis comparing single-use (Ambu® aScope™) and conventional reusable fiberoptic flexible scopes for difficult tracheal intubation]

Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2013 May;32(5):291-5. doi: 10.1016/j.annfar.2013.01.014. Epub 2013 Apr 3.
[Article in French]


Objective: Recommendations on difficult tracheal intubation constrain each surgical block to have a fiberscope available. Reusable fiberscope presents the problem of availability, the risk of non-conventional infections transmission and the cost. Single-use fiberscopes are presently available (Ambu® aScope™). This medico-economic study aims to assess the cost of using a reusable fiberscope as compared to the single use fiberscope.

Study design: Cost minimization analysis.

Material: Reusable fiberscope Pentax® FB 15P (Pentax France, Argenteuil) and single-use fiberscope Ambu® aScope™ (Ambu A/S, Ballerup, Denmark).

Method: Minimization-cost analysis conducted between 2006 and 2012. The amortization cost per utilization for two reusable fiberscopes took into account the acquisition and maintenance costs, as well as the costs related to disinfection. The cost of the single use fiberscope was calculated according to its acquisition cost.

Results: The total cost of the reusable material was 55,874€ over 6years, corresponding to a unitary cost of 206€ per fiberscopy. During this period, 780 sterilizations were carried out for a total cost of 32,611€. Acquisition and maintenance costs were respectively 18,382€ and 4880€. The cost of the single use fiberscope is of 200€ per fiberscopy.

Conclusion: This medico-economic evaluation shows that the utilization cost of single use and reusable fiberscopes are very close. This should be analyzed at the light of some benefits of using single use devices for the difficult tracheal intubation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Containment of Biohazards / economics
  • Containment of Biohazards / methods
  • Cost Savings / statistics & numerical data
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Disinfection / economics
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Disposable Equipment / economics*
  • Endoscopes / economics*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Reuse / economics
  • Fiber Optic Technology / economics
  • Fiber Optic Technology / instrumentation
  • France
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, General / economics
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / economics
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods
  • Masks / economics
  • Personnel, Hospital / economics
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Clothing / economics