Category Archives: Video laryngoscopy

Dual endoscopy

“Dual endoscopy” refers to using two devices – usually a video laryngoscope and a rigid or flexible endoscope – to manage an airway.  The Bonfils (or Shikani or Levitan) optical stylet is often used in this context.  Performing dual endoscopy provides “three levels of protection”:

  1. If the glottic opening is easily seen with the laryngoscope, the rigid endoscope simply acts as an ideally shaped or steerable stylet to introduce the tube
  2. If the view is poor (CL grade 3 or 4), the laryngoscope can be used to guide the tip of the ETT and endoscope “into the ballpark”, and then the final positioning of the tip of the tube through the vocal cords is achieved with the endoscope.
  3. If the airway is badly soiled or swollen (eg. ongoing bleeding or angioedema), the endoscope can be used as a lightwand for a transillumination technique.  (Remember lightwands, anyone?)

Here’s a brief informal video explaining the first two points, using the CMAC VL/VS:

Another dual endoscopy approach is “VAFI” (video-assisted flexible/fibreoptic intubation), where a VL is used to help place a flexible endoscope, whereafter the rest of the intubation is continued using the flexible.  Several good case reports of this technique are described in the literature.

VLVids: Intubation in Spinal Immobilisation

Clinical video demonstrating a collection of techniques to facilitate elective intubation for a patient with an unstable cervical spinal injury in caliper traction.  Note the sideways introduction of the VL blade due to limited space for the VL handle, optimisation of the view (‘Rule of 3’), use of a coude-tipped bougie (introducer), and the 3-part technique to advance the endotracheal tube when it catches on the arytenoid cartilage (pull tube back to disengage, rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise, advance tube).

NAPEM’17: Paediatric Difficult Airway in the ED

As promised/per usual, here’s my presentation from the current National Assembly on Paediatric Emergency Medicine, being held now (16-19 Feb 2017) at the Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Hyderabad, India.  Much of the content is in the audio, of course…which I will post if/when available.
Comments welcome below as usual!

Understanding airway geometry: Brainchildren of Dr Kenneth Greenland

One of the greatest influences on my understanding of the geometry of the airways, and thereby the technical skills and processes required to place airway devices of all types, has been the work on publications of Dr Kenneth Greenland. Greenland’s publication in the BJA in 2010 should be required reading for anybody who performs intubation. However, if you want to really understand theories of the airway curves and columns, I highly recommend getting it from the horses mouth.  Here below are several videos in which can Greenland explains his thinking and theories.  While they are a little longer than your average #FOAM material, I cannot recommend them strongly enough.

VLVids: Room for Improvement!

This real-life videolaryngoscopy example (RSI of a patient with a head injury for craniectomy) shows some commom errors, and room for improvement. Three major areas that could be better to spot here:

  1. Less-than-ideal positioning of the VL blade. The tip is too deep (over the epiglottis, rather than in the vallecula), which reduces the available space to manipulate both VL and ETT, the field of vision, and the ability to perceive the approach of the ETT.
  2. Quick suctioning of the secretions/saliva/mucus would reduce the risk of losing the view or the patient aspirating.
  3. An introducer (stylet/bougie) would greatly assist passage of the ETT through the cords.

VLVids: Use an introducer!

A classic example of good videolaryngoscopy technique being thwarted by not always using an introducer (stylet or bougie).  Note the clinician performing the intubation gets perfect, optimised VL view (Rule of 3), but then struggles to pass the ETT anteriorly enough, losing time.  Although this was no problem for the well-oxygenated patient in this case (and the intubation is still under 45 seconds duration), in a critical case it can lead to desaturation, frustration, and possible intubation trauma.

Confined Space Airway Management

Ross’s talk from the 2015 SMACCdub meeting, with credit to #SMACC and the Intensive Care Network.

This and many other talks available on the SMACC home pages.

Click here for the slides, podcast and original abstract on ICN.

Straightforward AirTraq Intubation

A video example of performing a straightforward intubation using the AirTraq optical laryngoscope, here coupled with the WiFi-enabled camera unit to allow image capture.  Note the optimal positioning (“Rule of 3”):

  1. Epiglottis visible at the top of the screen
  2. Vocal cords central in the vertical axis
  3. Interarytenoid cleft in the lower half of the screen.

This intubation is using a reinforced (“armored”) endotracheal tube, which is sometimes more difficult than a standard ETT, as it is a little floppier.  The AirTraq makes it simple in this instance.  The reinforced ETT was used to facilitate patient positioning for a neurosurgical case.