This group of anaesthetist in Germany have developed a new tool for intubation of the difficult (and normal) airway. It uses a different approach to practically all other laryngoscopes:
We believe that it is not necessary to elevate the tongue base or the epiglottis with a blade to view the glottis and to intubate the trachea successfully. Both laryngoscopy and intubation should simply follow the shape of the airways.
They have dubbed it the Intubation Scoop—a curved guiding bar that places a light and video source at the glottis and simply guides the endotracheal tube in line with the trachea. Simples, yes?
Use of the device involves three steps. Firstly, the i-scoop is inserted without the tube, following the natural shape of the upper airway before placing its tip with the lenses beneath the epiglottis. Secondly, the handhold is adjusted until the glottis can be seen in the centre of an external monitor. Thirdly, the tube is simply inserted into the trachea by sliding the tube on the upper side of the guiding bar.
In this study, a group of 25 anaesthetist were able to use the prototype i-scoop to successfully intubate a simulated difficult and normal airway using a mannequin. Intubation using the i-scoop had a higher success rate and required less force than any of the other devices tested (and all of them combined) for the difficult airway. Intubation time was shorter in the normal airway using the i-scoop than any other device.
Is this the next great thing in the difficult airway armamentarium?