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What’s this? A device that seeks and finds the trachea and intubates the patient?……enter the GuideIN tube.

Reported this week in ‘Gizmag’ from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The media is a little abuzz with this so lets look at it. Images from ‘Gismag’.

The mechanism by which it works involves an infrared light source held against the skin, indicating where the trachea would be. The detectors inside what currently looks like a fibre-optic scope ‘see’ the light and directs the flexible scope to it.

The whole apparatus looks like no more than a laryngeal mask, through which an endotracheal tube is passed and then a flexible scope is passed. There seems to be some kind of infrared seeking mechanism brought up on a computer screen.

The device is being promoted as of being of greater use in those situations where there is blood filling the airway and making it hard to visualise the chords. In that situation there is the implication that this device using infrared detection, will allow intubation even if there is no visualisation of the airway. This may suit the battlefield situation?

Is it any better than an intubating laryngeal mask? Time will tell.

I’ll wait to see the literature. It is reported that cadaver studies have been completed, although I can’t find any published material as yet. Although at this point, I look on with interest an applaud the fact that people are still looking for something better. Is this it? I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen more.

To read the ‘Gizmag’ article click on this link.

Peter Kas

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