Besides networking and hanging out with my EMS tribe, some of the other highlights of my trips to national EMS conferences are the new products and innovations showcased in the exhibit halls. Some are a nifty, some are of questionable utility, and some seem to be a solution in search of a problem. although the manufacturers know their target market well enough to know that we’d much rather have cool new toys than better education that will make us less reliant on cool new toys.
Video laryngoscopy has proliferated in the past few years, in response to the realization that a great many EMS providers, quite frankly, suck at advanced airway management.
And true to form, since EMS as a profession seems reluctant to plug the knowledge gap ourselves, enterprising vendors seeking to make a buck offer us all sorts of new toys to fill that perceived gap.
Enter, video laryngoscopy and your favorite supraglottic airway flavor of the month.
However, there are a few supraglottic airways I believe have some real potential benefit to patients, and over the past year, I’ve warmed a bit to video laryngoscopy. My friend and colleague Dan White loaned me his McGrath video laryngoscope for a workshop a few months back, and after a few sessions using it, my impression was that the McGrath video laryngoscope was neater than kitten toes. And while the McGrath scope is inexpensive (as video laryngoscopes go), at a couple of grand or more, it was still unaffordable for the vast majority of EMS agencies.
In other words, if it was a choice of paying us all a Christmas bonus and financing our yearly pay raise versus putting a $2500 video laryngoscope on every rig, 99.99% of my co-workers (and myself), would opt for the bonus and pay raises, and be happy with the 90-odd % success rate we have with conventional laryngoscopy.
But the VividTrac VT A-100 single-use video laryngoscope makes that a moot point.
At $68/unit, it is a video laryngoscope that is well within the reach of just about any EMS agency. Just hook one of these babies to your toughbook or ePCR tablet with the installed software, and you can view your laryngoscopy and have video confirmation of correct tube placement. Check it out:
Yep, that’s neater than kitten toes, and affordable, too. I’ll be getting a couple of these to test and evaluate, and I should have more info on it once I’ve wrung it out a bit.
Edited to add: Spoke with the vendor, and iPhone/iPad/iPod support is not available, because Apple is too hip to use USB ports like the rest of the computing world.
However, within the next few months, they will have an app for the LG Nexus 5 smartphone, which is capable of sending the video wirelessly to any device, including Apple products.