Portable Video Laryngoscope: The Ultimate Guide

If you looking for any information about portable video laryngoscope, then is the right guide for you.

It has all information that will help you choose reliable, efficient and high quality video laryngoscope.

Keep reading to learn more.

1.  What Is A Portable Video Laryngoscope Used For?

A portable video laryngoscope is a device that is used for observing the interior parts of the human body such as the larynx and vocal cords.

The portability feature facilitates its use in emergent and routine procedures or in an environment that demands mobility.

Initially, portable video laryngoscopes were not available and the only devices which were used were laryngoscopes.

portable video laryngoscpe

portable video laryngoscope

However, advancement in technology has led to the development of new designs that feature video and portability.

A good example of a portable video laryngoscope is the GlideScope Go.

2.  Features Of Portable Video Laryngoscope

Portable video laryngoscopes are one of the most beneficial laryngoscopes used by medical specialists.

We can attribute this to their useful features which include;

  • Camera – A camera fitted in the portable video laryngoscope help in capturing high-quality pictures.

Most portable video laryngoscopes have a 2.0-megapixel camera.

  • Screen – A color-display screen displays high-quality pictures captures by the camera.

The sizes of the screen might vary and therefore some screens offer a wide field of view as compared to others.

  • Anti-glare coating on screen – The anti-glare coating feature minimizes reflections and facilitates easier use of the device in bright light settings.
  • Anti-fog lens – Anti-fog lenses provide clear vision.
  • Anti-shutter protection – This feature provides protection from damage to the portable video laryngoscope in case it drops.
  • Lithium-ion battery – For a video laryngoscope to continue functioning for hours, a lithium-ion battery should be present.
  • Scratch resistance – You will find this feature on some of the types of portable video laryngoscope monitors such as GlideScope Go.
  • Portability – A portable video laryngoscope can easily be moved from one place to another. This simplifies procedures that take place in environments that require mobility.
  • Disposable blades – Portable video laryngoscope feature disposable blades which help in reducing the risks of infection.
  • Micro USB drive that allows recording of data.
  • Stainless steel reinforcement thus guarantees durability and less damage to the device.

3.  What Types Of Blades Do Video Laryngoscope Have?

Generally, there are two major types of blades used in intubation namely;

  • Curved blades
  • Straight blade

Normally, adults use a different blade as compared to children.

However, experienced operators can successfully use both types of blades on both adults and children.

Therefore it all depends on the operator’s experience.

Straight blades are recommended for use on newborns and infants while curved blades are suitable for adults.

curved bladescurved blades

Also, straight blades are useful in situations where the epiglottis blocks the visualization of the larynx.

On the other hand, Curved blades are believed to offer better intubating conditions as compared to other straight blades.

A curved blade that has a wide spatula may be beneficial in circumstances where the tongue of an older child needs to be controlled.

A good example of such a blade is the Macintosh blade.

Another thing to know about types of video laryngoscope blades is that they can either be reusable or disposable/ single-use blades.

As you might guess, disposable blades are only used once after which they are disposed of. This is a suitable option for minimizing the risks of infection.

In addition to that, disposable blades are generally cheaper and more efficient than reusable blades.

straight bladestraight blade

On the contrary, reusable blades can be used more than once. As such, a high level of hygiene needs to be maintained.

After every use, reusable blades need to be sterilized and disinfected. Not forgetting that they are more expensive than disposable blades.

4.  Factors Affecting Cost Of Portable Video Laryngoscope

The cost of a portable video laryngoscope differs based on several factors.

Well, to be honest laryngoscopes are not cheap and the prices can range from as low as $350 to as high as $15,000 and more.

So, the point is that before you start your purchasing process, it’s important to consider factors that might affect the overall costs.

Some of these factors are not limited to;

  • MOQ of the portable video laryngoscope – MOQ refers to the minimum order quantity that a manufacturer is willing to sell at a certain price tag.

The higher the MOQ the cheaper the devices. Meaning the more you purchase the lower the costs and vice versa.

It’s not uncommon for buyers to fail at MOQ negotiations.

A vast majority of suppliers are never ready to lower MOQ not unless you come up with a valid negotiation skill that would benefit both parties.

As a rule of thumb, be sure to have a better argument before picking on negotiations with your supplier.

  • Cost of portable video laryngoscope blade – As we did see earlier, there are different types of blades and the costs vary.

For instance, reusable blades tend to be costlier than disposable ones.

The cost of a reusable blade for the portable video laryngoscope can range from $200 to as much as $3000 and more per piece.

  • Cost of laryngoscope handle – Generally, handles of a portable video laryngoscope range from $100 to $15,000.
  • Type of material used- Most if not all portable video laryngoscopes are mainly made up of steel or stainless steel.

However, others are made of plastic and normally will cost cheaper.

Steel has several admirable qualities that not only ensure strength but also durability.

  • Potential decrease in patient cost via avoided complications as well as improved outcomes.

Other additional factors include battery costs which might range from $24 to $50 and last up to 300 minutes.

Of course, the lifetime decreases if you leave the battery on after each use.

Therefore, if you want to ensure maximum cost savings you need to observe proper maintenance practices on your device.

5.  How To Clean A Portable Video Laryngoscope

As you would expect with any clinical apparatus, hygiene is of the essence to prevent bacteria and infections.

Portable video laryngoscopes are no exception. They need to be properly cleaned as required by the CDC.

Cleaning of portable video laryngoscopes involves both sterilization and disinfection of parts such as blades.

Of course, the devices come with a guided manual from the manufacturer that briefs on how to maintain and clean them.

Therefore, it’s important to keenly read through the instructions before you start the cleaning process.

Also, understand the type of disinfectants that are ideal for cleaning the portable video laryngoscope.

Some of the popular ones include; hydrogen peroxide, glutaraldehyde, and orthophthalaldehyde.

Besides other components, blades and handles are the major parts that require extra focus when cleaning a portable video laryngoscope.

Here are the steps for cleaning your portable video laryngoscope;

1. After carefully going through the manufacturer’s manual, prepare the disinfectant.

2. Immerse the blade inside the disinfectant.

The amount of time taken to stay inside the disinfectant is determined by what the manufacturer stipulates in the disinfectant manual.

3. Rinse the blade – After completing the duration of stay inside the disinfectant, remove the blade and rinse it under running water.

4. Dry the blade – Before storage, ensure that you dry the blade after rinsing it.

5. Store the blade – The dried blade can be put in a plastic bag and later stored.

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

If you decide to sterilize your device using steam sterilization, you might consider using a peel-pack.

Cleaning Portable Video Laryngoscope Handles

As compared to blades, a portable video laryngoscope handle may not need sterilization. Given that laryngoscope handles are considered contaminated after each use, they need to be frequently cleaned, just like blades.

However, be sure to adhere to your manufacturer’s recommendations as different manufacturers might have different guidelines.

For instance, some manufacturers might recommend low-level surface disinfectants to be used on the surface of the handle.

On the other hand, some might suggest using high-level disinfectants or sterilizers.

6.  What Is The Difference Between Video laryngoscopy And Direct Laryngoscopy?

With direct laryngoscopy, the endotracheal tube is inserted via a technique of directly visualizing the vocal cords.

video laryngoscope

video laryngoscope

Despite its poor laryngeal views, it’s commonly applied during tracheal intubation.

On the contrary, indirect laryngoscopy uses a method that indirectly visualizes the vocal cords when inserting the endotracheal tube.

Direct laryngoscope

direct laryngoscope

7.  Pros and Cons Of Portable Video Laryngoscopy

Portable video laryngoscopy has both benefits and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros;

  • Allows sharing of medical data among the team.
  • Useful for awake intubation.
  • Reduced risk of esophageal intubation.
  • Has a higher success rate more so in difficult situations.
  • Provides a better view when the mouth opening or neck mobility is limited.
  • Less oral trauma


  1. Video laryngoscopy is more expensive
  2. Might take longer to intubate.
  3. More complicated
  4. Several devices available require different skills.
  5. It might be difficult to visualize the video screen in brightly lit outdoor surroundings.
  6. Fogging and secretions might affect the view.
  7. Several scopes are large and difficult to insert in patients with poor mouth opening.

Pros and Cons Of Direct Laryngoscopy


  1. Portability
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Successful intubation doesn’t require a perfect view.
  4. Fogging has less effect on the functioning of the device.
  5. It’s a tried and tested method.


  • Has a 1% failure rate
  • A few patients cannot be intubated by this method regardless of the operator’s skill.

8.  What Are The Benefits Of Portable Video Laryngoscope?

A portable video laryngoscope offers several benefits including;

  • Portability and lightweight – Some portable video laryngoscopes weigh less than 400g.

This makes them lightweight and facilitates easier transportation from one place to another.

  • High resolution – Most if not all portable video laryngoscopes have a 2.0 megapixel which provides high-quality video.
  • Low cost per patient- Some portable video laryngoscopes have low-cost disposable and reusable blades which can be used up to 1000 times.

This in turn reduces the cost per patient.

  • Durable – Most portable video laryngoscopes are made of steel or stainless steel which is a strong and durable material thus guaranteeing durability.

Additionally, some might have an anti-shutter protection feature that protects the device in case it accidentally drops.

9.  Factors To Consider When Buying A Portable Video Laryngoscope?

Below are the main factors that you should consider when buying a portable video laryngoscope;

  • Clarity – To achieve clear footage, be sure to get a device that has an anti-fog feature to avoid having obstructed images as a result of fog.
  • Blade type – You either choose a reusable or a disposable blade. Quite frankly, both offer similar functionalities.

The only difference is that you need extra maintenance practices on reusable blades. Also, reusable blades tend to be more costly as compared to disposable blades.

  • Size of the monitor – The main focus here is not on the size but on the positioning of the screen.

While some screens are fitted onto the device handles others are connected to a laptop size monitor on a stand.

  • Reliability – Having quality batteries, a good camera and quality lights are just some of the features that could make your device reliable.

Some batteries show a warning sign before they expire making them reliable.

Also, some lights are not bright enough and this creates inconveniences during intubation.

  • Ease of use – Pick portable video laryngoscopes that are easy to use.
  •  If it’s a complex video laryngoscope, it’s important to ensure that your anesthesia providers are well trained on the technology.
  • Data capture – This is a cool feature that allows you to store data collected during the intubation and use it for future reference.

Therefore, if you want such it’s necessary to consider looking out for this feature as you buy your portable video laryngoscope.

10.  How Does Portable Video Laryngoscope Work?

A portable video laryngoscope features a camera and a mirror that facilitate viewing.

The video laryngoscope is inserted into the back of the throat via the mouth to view the larynx or vocal cords.

The patient might be asked to perform simple functions such as swallowing, speaking, coughing, and making sounds as the viewing process continues.

Once the process is over, the footage is saved in external memory and can be used for future reference.

As I earlier mentioned, a portable video laryngoscope has straight and curved blades.

When using a curved blade, the tip will be placed into the vallecula to lift it out of view.

On the other hand, the tip of a straight blade is placed at the epiglottis.

The epiglottis gets lifted as you lift the straight blade and this, in turn, uncovers a clear path into the larynx.

11.  What Certification Is Required For Portable Video Laryngoscope?

When purchasing any equipment, especially medical equipment it’s common to come across different certifications for the equipment.

Certifications are not only meant to guarantee safety but also the quality of the devices. That said, some of the certifications required for a portable video laryngoscope include;

  • CE
  • ISO 13485
  • IEC60601-1
  • FDA
  • EEC
  • MSDS

CE is the most common type of certification among several types of portable video laryngoscopes.

Keep in mind that different types of portable video laryngoscopes might have different certifications.

You may also wish to know:

Video Endoscope

EEG Electrodes

EEG Caps

For all your portable video laryngoscope needs, contact us now.

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