Intubation in a young child with a severe submandibular abscess using the paediatric Bonfils rigid intubating endoscope under inhalational general anaesthesia. Direct laryngoscopy showed only severe swelling with a Cormack-Lehane grade 3b view. A standard laryngoscope was used with the left hand to create an open path for the Bonfils just right of the midline, avoiding the worst of the submandibular swelling. 3.5mm Bonfils allowed intubation with a 4.5 mm uncuffed ETT. Note that because this is a rigid intubating scope, it is not inserted through the vocal cords, but they are visible through the tube as it is inserted with the Bonfils held steady.
Flexible fibreoptic and video endoscopes are fantastic but expensive pieces of equipment. In order to be maintained in top working condition, they need a little tender loving care. A particular problem occurs when the sheath of the scope becomes damaged or cracked, allowing fluid (especially corrosive cleaning solutions) to enter the inner workings of the scope, causing irreparable damage. The inner workings of the scope are a sealed environment. The patency of the seal – and thus the presence or absence of any damage – can easily be determined by performing a leak test. Although this is usually performed by medical technologists who are looking after the scopes, it can just as be performed quickly by the user while the scope is being prepared, or just before cleaning. Spend 100 seconds watching this brief, unadorned video which will walk you through the process. The demonstration here is using our Storz equipment, but is very similar regardless of the make or model of endoscope.
This common problem is worst with small bougies, such as in this paediatric example of a child with severe burns and a difficult airway. The bevel of the ETT allows the tip of the tube to stick out right (laterally) of the bougie and snag on the right arytenoid cartilage. This can be remedied by withdrawing the ETT slightly (to disengage it from the arytenoid), effecting a one-quarter counter-clockwise rotation of the ETT on the bougie (bringing the bevel and tip of the ETT into a superior midline position snug with the bougie), and then advancing again.
Picked this up at the Storz booth at a recent meeting. Printed on a 10cm piece of what looks like fairly hard-wearing plasticized card, it looks like it might survive in a pocket or bag for a fairly long time, and can be used to make direct measurements. Useful or gimmick? What do you think?