Central EMS has added video laryngoscopes to its ambulances to make it easier to open and maintain a patient’s airway in an emergency. The Intubrite devices have been placed in the seven ambulances that serve Forsyth County with 911 service through a partnership with the Forsyth County Fire Department.
“In February, we held training with our paramedics and EMTs, and our team has been impressed with how the devices have increased visualization and can help improve intubation in the field,” Central EMS President Gary Coker said. “We are committed to serving the Forsyth County community with the most advanced technology, vehicles and medical protocols, as well as integrated training with local hospital staff and first responders.”
Since assuming the emergency ambulance service contract in Forsyth County on Jan. 14, Central EMS has been working closely with first responders to create a comprehensive emergency medical coverage network. The video laryngoscopes are part of this effort and were provided to Central EMS by the Forsyth County Fire Department with a grant from the Georgia Trauma Commission.
“This grant from the Georgia Trauma Commission through our partnership with the Forsyth County Fire Department will further improve our county’s emergency response system,” Coker said. “The Intubrite video laryngoscope is another tool in our paramedics’ toolbox for top-quality patient care. The new technology will make intubation quicker and more precise for a number of our patients. In an emergency situation, seconds count, and time-saving technology like the video laryngoscope can make difference in saving a life.”
The Intubrite device improves upon manual intubation, which has been a standard medical practice for decades. In the manual procedure, the paramedic must view the trachea from between 18 inches to two feet above the patient to place a flexible plastic tube into the windpipe to maintain an open airway. The video laryngoscope eliminates this distance, bringing the visual to eye level.
In the field, getting a clear view of the trachea can be a challenge. The paramedics often have to intubate in a variety of adverse locations and environments, including a moving ambulance, during chest compressions, in cramped spaces or amid poor weather conditions. The video laryngoscope minimizes the risk of missed intubation in the field.
In most patients, intubation is routine with a clear view of the trachea, but direct view can be obscured because of a patient’s size, large or short neck or possible head and neck injuries. The video laryngoscope helps with difficult situations, allowing the paramedic a clear visual field for successful intubation on the first attempt.
The Intubrite video laryngoscope uses high-quality LED digital display technology to magnify the airway and project it on a screen at the paramedic’s eye level. The portion of the device that is inserted into the airway to introduce the tube for breathing has an attached camera lens. The image taken from the camera is relayed to a screen on the handle of the device. This allows for faster, more accurate placement of breathing tubes to maintain an open airway.