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Emergency use of the Airtraq laryngoscope in traumatic asphyxia: case report
  1. John J M Black
  1. Correspondence to:
 J J M Black
 John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; john.black{at}seh.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

This case report describes the emergency use of a novel, single-use, anatomically shaped laryngoscope that has recently become commercially available in the UK (Airtraq, Prodol Meditec, Spain). It was used to successfully intubate a severely injured 41-year-old patient who had sustained traumatic asphyxia after attempting suicide by hanging. He was bleeding into his upper airway, necessitating regular suctioning. The patient underwent an emergency rapid sequence intubation at the scene of injury, with in-line immobilisation and cricoid pressure while lying on the ground in bright sunlight. A Cormack and Lehane grade 1 view of the oedematous vocal cords was readily obtained, and successful endotracheal intubation was rapidly achieved at the first attempt. The endotracheal tube was clearly seen to pass through the vocal cords and enter the trachea. The Airtraq required minimal manipulation to obtain a close-up, panoramic, high-grade view of the larynx. Further evaluation of this device is warranted to define its role in the emergency department and in prehospital care.

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