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Temperature variations of nasal endoscopes

Authors

  • Jeffrey J. Nelson MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and the Syracuse VA Medical Center, Syracuse, New York, U.S.A.
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  • Parul Goyal MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and the Syracuse VA Medical Center, Syracuse, New York, U.S.A.
    • Department of Otolaryngology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams Street CWB-241, Syracuse, NY 13210
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  • Presented at the Triological Society Combined Sections Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., May 1, 2010.

  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives:

Advances in light sources and endoscopes have improved illumination during endoscopic sinus surgery. However, these advances have also increased the temperatures the equipment reaches during the course of procedures. Limited data exist on temperature variations of nasal endoscopes and the potential risks of burns to drapes and patients. We attempt to quantify temperature variations of nasal endoscopes and light cords.

Methods:

Various endoscopes, light cords, and xenon light sources were used to measure temperature increases over time. Temperatures were measured with noncontact thermometers using different combinations of endoscopes, light cords, and light sources at multiple intervals up to 30 minutes over 30 trials. Variables assessed included endoscope age, light cord age, light source type, and light source age. Also, extended time trials were repeated up to 180 minutes.

Results:

Endoscope tip temperatures peaked at 62.5°C. Additional studies performed with the cord and light source alone reached a maximum temperature of nearly 200°C. The ages of light cords and scopes do lead to statistically significant changes in heat production. Higher wattage light sources may increase potential temperatures.

Conclusions:

Patient safety is a preeminent concern for all procedures. Although the endoscope temperatures appear low risk for patient injury, the light cord itself creates extreme temperatures. It is important to monitor the endoscope and light cords for extreme temperatures to avoid patient injury.

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