Illumination Of Bulb-On-Blade Laryngoscopes


 
 

Street Science | | Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Review of: Cheung KW, Kovacs G, Law JA, et al: "Illumination of bulb-on-blade laryngoscopes in the out-of-hospital setting." Academic Emergency Medicine. March 28, 2007.

The Science

I generally don't comment on studies that are still in press, because it makes it more difficult for you to find them. However, in this instance I felt the study abstract alone had sufficiently compelling information that we could make some useful inferences from it.

The authors of this study chose to examine the brightness of the laryngoscopes in their service. They randomly visited each station and measured each scopes' brightness using a standard light meter. They then measured its brightness after placing new batteries in it, then placing a new bulb using the original battery, and with a new battery and new bulb. As a final test, they attached a disposable blade to the scope with fresh batteries.

They measured 51 scopes. Mean illumination was 624 lux. New batteries increased the brightness by 168 lux. A new bulb increased the brightness by 679 lux, and the combination of new batteries and a new bulb by 937 lux. The disposable blade with its built in light source (not fiber-optic) resulted in an increase of 2401 lux.

They concluded that, "Optimal changing of lightbulbs and batteries in the out-of-hospital setting will have to be more clearly defined."

The Street

Again, we have another study that would appear to be a "no-brainer." New batteries? New bulb? Brighter light! Remarkable! However, could poor lighting be contributing to failed endotracheal intubations? Wouldn't it have been interesting if they could track the experience of a given scope and it's brightness?

Regardless, with the increased awareness of the vital need to get the tube in on the first attempt and make that attempt as short as possible, the role of brightness may very well be an issue we should consider when purchasing equipment. The authors' conclusion did not address the most revealing part of their results. The disposable blade was the brightest.



Rather than worry about changing batteries and bulbs, why not just suggest that all intubations be performed with single-use disposable blades? There are a growing number of such devices on the market, including those that can be attached to a video display to enable a more comfortable approach to intubation. These devices also provide the capability of recording the intubation for both risk management and quality improvement purposes.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Airway and Respiratory, Research

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >