Video-Laryngoscopy in EMS

Now with ten years of history and many clinical trials behind them, video-laryngoscopes are proving to have a vital role in anesthesia and a developing one in EMS.

An emerging trend this year is the explosive growth of video-laryngoscopy. The buzz at last year’sASA Conference was that in another 10 years we will all look back on the blade and handle direct laryngoscope as a primitive instrument. With a video-laryngoscope, more than one person sees the tube going between the vocal cords. It makes the difficult anterior airway easier to see, particularly when the head and neck are motion restricted.

A video-laryngoscope is as an instrument for performing endotracheal intubation, which displays the target anatomy on a screen or monitor. The first were big and cumbersome. But they now come in three different styles from small hand-held devices to those that can display on a big external screen.

In recent years we’ve seen many reports of problems with pre-hospital endotracheal intubation.

Some EMS systems have started using more supraglottic rescue airways and fewer ET tubes. Nobody ever said a properly placed ET tube is not the definitive advanced airway. It is just that the risks were starting to outweigh the rewards. Video-laryngoscopy is one heavy new weight to drop down on these scales. Continue

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About Dan White

I'm a retired Paramedic and EMS Instructor with 35 years EMS and emergency medical product experience. I love canoes, cars and EMS. I write about EMS Technology on the Paramedic Blog, the Insights on Innovation column for EMS1.com, on AmbulanceWorld.com and Multibriefs.com. I work for Intersurgical, Inc. managing EMS sales and distribution. I can be reached directly at 573-240-0002. Follow me @Paradan on Twitter
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