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Infrared flashing light through the cricothyroid membrane to guide flexible bronchoscopic tracheal intubation

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Flexible bronchoscopic tracheal intubation is a fundamental technique in the management of the difficult airway but requires specific skills which may be both difficult to achieve and maintain. Therefore, techniques to improve its success should be developed. We present two cases, one where the ear, nose and throat surgeon could not view the glottis due to laryngeal pathology, and one where pathology in the oropharynx obscured access to the trachea during attempts at flexible bronchoscopic and videolaryngoscopic tracheal intubation. In both cases, tracheal intubation was subsequently successful due to the use of the Infrared Red Intubation System. This is an infrared light source that is secured to the anterior neck. It emits a flashing infrared light that is captured by the flexible bronchoscope, thus guiding the way to the trachea. These are the first reports of this technology being used for flexible bronchoscopic tracheal intubation in patients with severe airway pathology where conventional approaches had failed. Both cases emphasise that this technique can be of benefit in avoiding a surgical airway.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnaesthesia reports
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)114-117
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

    Research areas

  • airway assessment, co-existing disease, difficult airway algorithm, predictor difficult intubation, upper airway anatomy

ID: 66132190