Archive January 2020 XXI, No. 1

Master of the Airway

Are your providers comfortable with an airway device in their hands?

Joe Paone

Joe Paone


DREAM SCREEN Video laryngoscopes let anesthesia providers see the airway better than ever before — and they're simpler to use than traditional laryngoscopes, where you have to get the right angle and physically see with your eyes.

From video laryngoscopes to supraglottic airways, advanced airway devices have made intubations and sedations safer than ever — assuming that your anesthesia providers are comfortable using them. You know what they say about assuming.

“We have lots of fancy airway devices and toys that have improved first-pass success and safety of intubation, but staying proficient on all the many different devices can be a challenge when there are 10 different video laryngoscopes,” says University of Florida College of Medicine professor of anesthesiology Lauren Berkow, MD, FASA, who’s also president of the Society for Airway Management.

Calling video laryngoscopes “the biggest innovation in routine airway management in the last 20 years,” Richard P. Dutton, MD, MBA, chief quality officer at U.S. Anesthesia Partners in Dallas, Texas, notes a gradual shift toward intubation via video laryngoscope as the standard of care.

“We still teach direct laryngoscopy, but more and more, the routine practice is turning to video laryngoscopy because it’s a little bit easier and more reliable,” says Dr. Dutton.

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