Endoscopic cameras are delicate instruments and the user should practice extreme care when handling them. If handled with care, they can be used for extended periods of time without any faults and thereby they contribute to savings in the long run. Although a variety of different qualities of endoscopic cameras are available in the market; there are certain basic practices that can ensure protection of all these camera types. Some basic care tips are mentioned below:
1. The camera should be attached before the onset of surgery and checked to make sure it works fine. In some cameras the light cable is fiberoptic; if this is the case, it should be checked. If there are any broken fibers, they manifest as dark areas, since light is not passing through them. If this is the case, the cable needs replacement.
2. Cameras are delicate instruments, so they should not be placed under heavy objects. In a surgical setting, a common mistake is to place the camera under heavy surgical instruments or surgical trays etc. This may damage the camera.
3. Another weak area is the ‘camera cord’. It is a common practice to ‘coil’ the camera cord for easy handling. If you coil the cord too tightly, chances are you break the inner fiberoptic fibers and render the cord useless. A good rule is to never coil the cord forcefully; coil till no force is needed to coil it further.
4. Every manufacturer provides cleaning instructions, which should be followed during sterilization. These instructions should be followed closely for sterilizing cords, couplers and cameras. Since the equipment is prone to damage during cleaning, it should always be checked for damage after cleaning is complete.
5. Lastly, the camera and its lens are delicate parts and any scratching can render them useless. The use of abrasives for cleaning purpose is never recommended.