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Surg Endosc. 2006 Apr;20 Suppl 2:S479-83. Epub 2006 Mar 16.

Seeing is believing: the importance of video laryngoscopy in teaching and in managing the difficult airway.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.


Of the several million patients who undergo surgery in North America annually, a large proportion undergo intubation of the trachea. In approximately 90% of these patients, the endotracheal tube is introduced using a traditional laryngoscope with a battery in the handle and a small bulb near the tip of the blade. This bulb provides a limited and often dim view of the glottic structures. In about 10% of cases, the patient is intubated using a flexible fiberoptic intubating scope. The authors have developed a video laryngoscope that preserves the standard blade configuration with a modified handle. A 3-mm image light guide is built into the blade, replacing the bulb. A small TV camera with an incorporated light bundle is inserted into the handle. A wide-angle panoramic view of the upper airway anatomy is displayed on a TV screen, which can be positioned at a convenient working distance. The use of a TV monitor is a well-accepted standard during minimally invasive surgical procedures.

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