I recently taught the bougie station at an airway class for ED physicians. While there I got to sit in on an excellent airway lecture and play with some of the other airway devices in the hospital’s difficult airway cart.
There was a vendor there from King Systems helping demonstrate a new product of theirs called the AIRTRAQ.
It is a disposable optical laryngoscope that was amazingly easy to use even on the simulator mannequin’s difficult airways. I tend to be resistant to new gizmos, but I was impressed, as were the ED physicians who were introduced to it. The product is $80-$90 now, but will probably come down in the future.
Given that we already have EZ-IO needles that cost $90 a needle for emergency access, I don’t think it is unreasonable to see some EMS services stocking a device like this for difficult intubations. I understand some hospitals are using this device to such an extent that their new residents are not acquiring the skills of standard intubation.
I don’t know enough about the real life experiences of people using the device to be able to comment about drawbacks or how well it deals with airways full of secretions, etc. but I wouldn’t mind having one of these in my kit.
Check out some of the videos of the AIRTRAQ in use at the following link:
I’d love to hear from any medics out there using this or similar devices.
By the way I have no affiliation or financial interest in this device or any other medical device I may write about it.