The true cost of reusable bronchoscopes

Do you know the true cost of using a reusable bronchoscope?

Using a bronchoscope costs more than the initial purchase price of equipment. Every step in the process of using, reprocessing, storing, and transporting a scope is another layer of expense to include in the calculation of costs of use. Besides, published literature reveals that there are also costs associated with the risks of not having a bronchoscope readily available when needed and the risk of cross-contamination.

Reprocessing an endoscope is a highly complex and expensive operation 

With more than 100 steps for reprocessing each endoscope after use, adherence to guidelines (AAMI/ARON/SGNA) can be costly, time-consuming and  resource-intensive. Based on a number of independent studies, cost associated with reprocessing is estimated to be between 50-153 USD per cycle. An expense that is widely underestimated and a heavy contributor to the cost of bronchoscopy procedures.1

Do you think that a reprocessed bronchoscope is actually clean?

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What does reprocessing require?

76 min

Estimated average reprocessing time

50-153 $

Estimated costs for endoscope reprocessing



Pre-cleaning at site of use




Leak testing


Manual cleaning


High level disinfection & rinsing




Drying & storage






Back to cleaning

Single-use eliminates the need for reprocessing

As a single-use product, Ambu’s aScope 4 Broncho will not be held up in reprocessing, be out for repair or in use elsewhere. With the elimination of reprocessing, hospitals will save costs and release valuable resources for other procedures.

Costs associated with repair of reusable bronchoscopes

It is inevitable. Reusable bronchoscopes break, from time to time, and require expensive repairs. As a matter of fact, a significant part of the budget of bronchoscopy units represents repair costs for damaged bronchoscopes. Most repairs pertain to the angulating tips, with leaks, tears and damaged vertebrae requiring different kinds of repairs ranged from relatively minor replacement of parts to substantial complete refurbishment that can take several weeks.2

Independent cost studies reveal an average cost of 3.259 USD per bronchoscope repair.

A high frequency of repair and the amount of work associated with handling reusable scopes contribute to high usage costs

Eliminate repair costs with aScope 4 Broncho

With the single-use aScope 4 Broncho there are no repair costs – because it is brand new, every time.

Cost burden of capital investment per procedure

Purchasing a reusable bronchoscope requires a significant capital investment due to their high price ranking from 12.000–25.000 USD. Depending on the size of the department and the number of procedures, more than one reusable bronchoscope is often needed to cover clinical needs.

A number of independent studies indicate an average cost of capital investment of 85 USD per procedure. 

The combination of capital investment, repair and reprocessing results in an average cost burden of 314 USD for every bronchoscopy procedure.

Bringing a bronchoscope to the ICU

Watch this video to see all the processes involved in getting a bronchoscope to the ICU and how the costs add up to a per-use cost of more that hospital staff often realize.  

A hassle-free alternative

Instead of a huge up-front investment, the aScope 4 Broncho system offers a unique opportunity of “paying as you go.”

The aScope 4 Broncho system gives you the choice of three different sizes that are always available without having to invest in three expensive bronchoscopes.

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  1. Cori L. Ofstead et al 2017. “A Glimpse at the True Cost of Reprocessing Endoscopes: Results of a Pilot Project” In International Journal of Healthcare Central Service Material Management

  2. R. A. McCahon and D. K. Whynes 2015, Cost comparison of re-usable and single-use fibrescopes in a large English teaching hospital