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    How single-use diagnostic lenses yield multiple benefits for clinics

    Disposable lens system may reduce risk of infection; serve as cost-effective choice in busy settings



    Single-use lenses for anterior segment lasers may reduce the risk of disease transmission and eliminate reductions in optical quality that occur over time with reusable lenses.



    London—A line of single-use diagnostic and treatment lenses (Quantel Medical) offers clinicians the dual advantages of pristine optics with every use and a reduced risk of infection from improper cleaning and sterilization procedures.

    These anterior segment lenses for diagnostic, surgical, and therapeutic procedures, which are packaged in a sterile pouch, offer a solution to many of the concerns associated with traditional single-use lenses—disease transmission and loss of therapeutic efficacy, said Professor John Marshall, PhD, Frost Professor of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London.

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    “The optical quality of these lenses is as good as any classical lens with the added advantage that each time you do a procedure, effectively you have a brand new, perfect lens,” Dr. Marshall said. “Whereas with a classical lens system, it’s been cleaned, it’s been wiped, it’s been sterilized, and obviously the optical quality goes down as a function of use.

    “If you take an average lens out of its container in an average clinic, you will see fingerprints, you will see scratches, you will see dust,” he said. “In theory, the lens has been cleaned or sterilized; in practice, that may or may not have happened.”

    In a busy hospital, such as Moorfields, there is a horrendous problem with lenses due to heavy usage, theft, and damage, and high costs for cleaning and sterilization—largely due to staffing requirements, he added.

    Growth in single-use items

    Reducing the risk that disease can be transmitted through reusable medical products is a primary reason for growth in single-use items. The so-called “mad cow disease” (bovine spongiform encephalopathy—BSE) scare in the United Kingdom and Europe during the 1990s—in which evidence suggested an association between BSE and a new human prion disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease—made everyone aware of the almost total inability to sterilize instrumentation in the presence of prions, Dr. Marshall said.

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