Laryngoscope With Camera: The Ultimate Guide

Since its invention in 1829, Laryngoscope has been a crucial tool in the medical sector making treating throat vocal cord conditions easier.

This guide will enlighten you more about Laryngoscope with camera and everything you need to know.

1.  What Is The Function Of A Laryngoscope With Camera?

laryngoscope with camera

laryngoscope with camera

The main function of a Laryngoscope with camera is to facilitate observation of the larynx and the surrounding parts.

Also, it is used to facilitate breathing by inserting a tube into the windpipe.

With the advancement of technology, more laryngoscopes are fitted with a video camera to enhance their functionality.

2.  Types Of Laryngoscope Blades.

There are two main types of laryngoscope blades;

  • Straight Blades
  • Curved Blades

These two blades have different functionalities for facilitating viewing of the larynx.

Straight laryngoscope blades are mostly suitable for newborns and infants.

They are used to lift the large floppy epiglottis so that the vocal cords can be viewed.

On the other hand, curved blades work by placing the tip in the vallecula anterior of the glottis raising it to reveal the larynx.

straight and curved blades

straight and curved blades

3.  Is Intubation Possible Without A Laryngoscope With Camera?

Yes, you can conduct intubation without needing a laryngoscope with camera.

Digital intubation facilitates intubation without the need for a laryngoscope with camera.

It also allows intubation without the view of the larynx and can be performed whether or not a bougie is present.

laryngoscope

laryngoscope

4.  What Are The Types Of Laryngoscope With Camera?

There are several types of laryngoscope with cameras which include;

  • Glidescope
  • SensaScope
  • AirTraq
  • Stylets
  • Pentax AWS
  • Bonfils
  • Guide channels
  • Traditional (non-guided)
  • Storz DCI
  • Mc Grath
  • Coopdech VLP

5.  Features Of Laryngoscope With Camera.

Different types of laryngoscope with camera have different features. Generally, here are some of the common features to expect;

  • Screen/monitor which provides a display of real-time images.
  • Camera to take high-quality pictures
  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • Anti-fog lens technology to provide a clear view.
  • Lithium-ion battery that offers hours of use.
  • Anti-shutter protection which protects the laryngoscope with camera from damage in case it drops.

Other laryngoscopes with cameras are designed to be lightweight to facilitate portability.

Most importantly, manufacturers include a warranty for laryngoscope with camera to guarantee quality.

6.  What Are The Components Of A Laryngoscope With Camera?

A laryngoscope with camera has four main components which are not limited to;

  • A high-resolution camera with a light source to light up the airway.
  • Reusable blades – These reusable blades come in different shapes and sizes.

This is because there are different airway anatomy and thus the need for different sizes.

The two main categories of blades are curved and straight blades.

Sometimes, blades might have an anti-fog feature to avoid moisture from damaging the camera lens.

Some reusable blades can be used up to 1,000 times.

  • Single or multi-internal power sources (rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries) – These power sources aid in powering the camera, light source as well as display screen.
  • Stand-alone or integrated monitor. The monitor features a color display and adjustment controls to observe images of the airway.

Bear in mind that laryngoscope with cameras has reusable and disposable components.

A good example of disposable components is blades.

On the other hand, some reusable components include a monitor and camera.

7.  Which Components Are Disposable In A Laryngoscope With Camera?

As mentioned earlier, a laryngoscope with camera features both disposable and reusable parts.

The main disposable components are the blades. Talking of blades, there are single-use blades and reusable blades.

The truth is that single-use laryngoscope blades are not only cheaper but also have a minimized risk of infection as compared to reusable blades.

It is also important to know that reusable blades are more efficient than single-use plastic blades when it comes to emergency intubation.

8.  Which Kind Of Patients Need Laryngoscope With Camera?

To begin with, laryngoscope with camera is a new technology that was established to enhance the success rate of tracheal intubation.

There has been an increase in the use of laryngoscopes with camera during the pandemic period.

They help to provide protection to anesthesia providers from possibly aerosolized COVID19 at the time of intubation.

Before the pandemic, a laryngoscope with camera was used during problematic airways situations.

Nevertheless, a laryngoscope with camera will be needed for patients who have;

  • Ongoing coughs
  • Sore throat
  • Earache that won’t go away
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Something stuck in the throat
  • Examination of serious health problems such as cancer
  • Need to remove a growth

Patients who have difficult intubation, a history of trauma, and simulated difficult airway scenarios will need a laryngoscope with camera.

9.  Non-Channeled video laryngoscope blades

To use a non-channeled blade, the video laryngoscope needs to be held in the left hand whereas the tracheal tube needs to be in the right hand.

With this approach, the user is not only free to control the movements but also the trajectory of the tracheal tube (TT).

One major disadvantage of the non-channeled video laryngoscope blade:

It is difficult to simultaneously handle both the TT and the video laryngoscope while maintaining the best epiglottis view on the monitor.

In addition to that, when the tracheal tube is first inserted, the tip doesn’t appear on the screen immediately.

This can be a risk since it might result in exploratory movements of the tracheal tube which can cause injuries and time wastage.

Last but not least, to provide proper stability to the tracheal tube, you will need to insert and bend a malleable stylet as per the shape of the blade’s curvature.

Initially, video laryngoscopes had a non-channeled blade configuration design.

Channeled Blades.

Channeled video laryngoscope blades feature a pre-loaded endotracheal tube which allows expansion of the tube as soon as the glottis is visualized.

If you are looking for faster intubation, a channeled blade could a suitable option to consider as compared to the curved Macintosh blade.

Some examples of the channeled video laryngoscope blades include the Aitraq and the King Vision video laryngoscope.

channeled blade

channelled blade

10.  How Does Laryngoscope With Camera Work?

A laryngoscope with camera comprises a mirror and light to facilitate viewing.

The laryngoscope with camera is placed into the back of the throat through the mouth and it facilitates viewing of the larynx.

Sometimes, the patient can be requested to swallow, cough, or make sounds in the process.

To improve the visualization, the patient might also be requested to stick out their tongue.

If it is transnasal, the laryngoscope with camera will be inserted through the nose to view the voice box.

Using a laryngoscope doesn’t require any anesthesia and can be done when a patient is uprightly seated.

Not forgetting that a laryngoscope comprises two blades; straight and curved. The curved blade tip is positioned into the vallecula lifting it out of view.

The tip of a straight (Miller) blade is placed under the epiglottis. As you lift the straight blade the epiglottis is also lifted and in turn, reveals a clear path into the larynx.

11.  Difference Between Laryngoscopy And Endoscopy.

Laryngoscopy and endoscopy relate to each other in that laryngoscopy refers to an endoscopy that facilitates viewing of the pharynx and larynx.

To understand more, laryngoscopy uses an endoscope or a small camera to examine the throat.

It allows viewing of the throat as the patient performs normal actions such as swallowing, coughing, speaking, and breathing.

laryngoscope

laryngoscope

Laryngoscopy is conducted via the mouth or nose and can also include Biopsy in cases where a definitive diagnosis of suspicious growth is required.

On the other hand, endoscopy facilitates visualization inside the patient’s body using an endoscope.

Some of the body parts that can be diagnosed through endoscopy include;

  1. Stomach
  2. Abdomen
  3. Esophagus
  4. Joints
  5. Throat
  6. Colon
  7. Nose
  8. Ears
  9. Urinary tract

Endoscopes feature a thin tube, a small camera at the tip, and powerful light.

endoscope

Endoscope

 The size or length of the endoscope depends on the specific part that needs to be checked.

12.  How To Clean And Store Laryngoscope With Camera Blades and Handles.

Any apparatus used for intubation requires a high- level of disinfection as required by the CDC.

They should be thoroughly cleaned through sterilization and disinfection of semi-critical items such as blades.

This should happen between patient uses as per CDC/HICPAC guidelines.

Some of the high-level disinfectants used include; glutaraldehyde, orthophthalaldehyde, and hydrogen peroxide.

It is important to cover the basin containing the disinfectant at all times.

Before beginning the cleaning and disinfecting process, it is important to review the directions displayed on the label.

Once the disinfectant is ready, dip the blade into the disinfectant and leave it to stay for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer of the disinfectant.

Afterward, remove the blade from the disinfectant and rinse it thoroughly under running water.

Dry the blade and later put it in a clear plastic bag then return it to its clean storage location.

If steam sterilization was applied, a peel-pack may be used.

The storage location should be free from dust, humidity, temperature, and moisture extremes.

On the other hand, laryngoscope handles should as well follow disinfection protocols as recommended by the manufacturer.

This involves using a disinfectant and sterilization to clean the laryngoscope handles.

13.  Differentiate Between Miller And McCoy Laryngoscope.

Miller and McCoy laryngoscope blades are the two main types of laryngoscope blades. Miller laryngoscope blades are straight while the McCoy laryngoscope blades are curved.

It is inserted at the right side of the mouth to displace the tongue.

McCOY laryngoscope

McCoy laryngoscope

In as much as both can be used on children and adults, Miller laryngoscope blades are best suited for use on infants or newborns to lift the epiglottis.

The appropriate sizes of Miller laryngoscope blades include the following;

  1. Blade size 0 > Premature
  2. Blade size 0-1 > neonate
  3. Blade size 1> 1 month – 2 years
  4. Blade size 1-2> 2-6 years
  5. Blade size 2 > 6-12 years
  6. Blade size 2-3 > 12 years and older

On the other hand, the McCoy laryngoscope blade is recommended for older children or adults.

Miller laryngoscope

miller laryngoscope

It is inserted further so as to directly lift the epiglottis and thus is more useful to patients whose epiglottis is difficult to displace.

The proper sizes for McCoy laryngoscope blades include;

Blade size 2> 2-6 years

Blade size 2-3 > 6-12 years

Blade size 3 > 12 years and older

14.  What Are The Factors To Consider When Buying Laryngoscope With Camera?

Before purchasing laryngoscope with camera, there are certain considerations that you need to factor in to evaluate this equipment.

Here are some of the main factors to consider;

  • Ease of Use – It is important to choose devices that can be easily used.

A more complex channeled laryngoscope with camera might be challenging for some during emergencies.

Therefore, your anesthesia providers must be well trained in the technology to ensure that they can comfortably use it.

  • Blade type – From a clinical standpoint, it doesn’t matter whether you choose a reusable or a disposable blade.

Both serve the same purpose and the difference lies in their functionality.

With disposable blades, you will not need to worry about maintenance issues, lifespan, or them being clean.

Reusable blades on the other hand are expensive and carry a higher risk of infection.

  • Clarity – As we know, laryngoscope with camera are used to provide images taken in the interior parts of the body.

That said, there is a need to have clear pictures when using a laryngoscope if so you want high-quality views of the airway.

Most importantly, ensure that your purchased camera lens has an anti-fog feature. This feature increases the success rate during the first intubation attempt.

Luckily, most laryngoscopes are fitted with an anti-fog technology.

  • Design – You can either choose between these two types of designs; Channeled and Standard devices.

Frankly, none of these is a better option than the other. They only have differences and their learning curves also differ.

  • Data capture – Data capture is a cool feature that helps you record challenging intubations and store patients’ data for future reference.

You are free to store the data in an external USB or onboard memory.

  • Reliability – Some laryngoscopes with camera might have batteries that expire without warning, have dim lighting, or shimmering images among others.
  • These are just some inconveniences that make the device unreliable and thus you need to consider all these factors when making your purchase.
  • Size of the screen – While screen size might be an important feature to consider, the placement is something that should not be overlooked.

Some screens are fitted on the handles while in some newer models, the screen is connected to a monitor whose size is equivalent to a laptop.

The laptop size monitors are normally on a stand.

  • Power – With laryngoscopes with camera, there are disposable and rechargeable batteries.

Choosing one that notifies the provider of the state of the battery percentage is crucial.

This avoids inconveniences caused by losing power during intubation.

15.  What Are The Blade Sizes For Laryngoscope With Camera?

The right blade sizes for straight and curved blade sizes are as follows;

  • Blade size 0 > Premature
  • Blade size 0-1 > neonate
  • Blade size 1> 1 month – 2 years
  • Blade size 1-2> 2-6 years
  • Blade size 2 > 6-12 years
  • Blade size 2-3 > 12 years and older

The appropriate size for curved laryngoscope blades include;

  • Blade size 2> 2-6 years
  • Blade size 2-3 > 6-12 years

Blade size 3 > 12 years and older

16.  Disposable Vs Reusable Laryngoscope.

A disposable laryngoscope has disposable blades and is known to have fewer infection risks as compared to reusable ones.

disposable laryngoscope

Disposable laryngoscope

In addition to that, they are known to be cheaper owing to the material cost and CSSD processing labor.

Reusable laryngoscopes have reusable blades that need a high level of disinfection and sterilization after each use.

reusable laryngoscope

reusable laryngoscope

Also, a reusable laryngoscope is more expensive and has a higher risk of infection.

17.  Factors Affecting Cost Of Laryngoscope With Camera.

Generally, the cost of a laryngoscope with camera varies depending on a couple of factors. Some of the major factors that can influence the cost of laryngoscope with camera are not limited to;

  • Cost of the laryngoscope blade – Since reusable blades need extra cleaning maintenance practices after each intubation, they have a higher upfront cost.

An upfront cost ranging from $6 to $18 Is what you will require when purchasing disposable blades.

  • Cost of laryngoscope handle – The price of laryngoscope handle ranges from $1,000 to $15,000 for video laryngoscopes.
  • MOQ of the laryngoscopes – The higher the MOQ the lower the price and vice versa. Buying in bulk will cut the costs of your total purchase.

This mostly applies when purchasing directly from the manufacturer or factory.

  • The material used – Laryngoscope blades are either made from steel or plastic. Plastic blades tend to be cheaper than steel laryngoscope blades.

Other components such as batteries cost range from $24 to $50 and might raise the cost.

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