This project focuses on developing a low-cost, user-friendly, portable and adjustable laryngoscope.
Laryngoscopes are designed for visualization of the vocal cords and for placement of the ETT into the trachea under direct vision. It consists of two parts: a handle and battery holder and a blade. The handle is usually made of metal (although some are made of plastic) and contains batteries that are used to operate the light bulb found in the blade. The laryngoscope blade is designed to be placed into the patient's mouth to aid in visualization of the larynx. A small light bulb that illuminates the laryngeal area is attached to the blade.
There are two basic types of laryngoscope blades: the curved (Macintosh) and the straight (Miller) blade. Each of these blades is available in a variety of sizes.
- The Macintosh is the curved blade that was created to decrease the amount of stimulation of the posterior epiglottis. The curvature of the blade was created to mimic the curvature of the tongue.
- The Miller is the straight blade that is meant to directly lift the epiglottis as it is placed right beneath it. There are certain anatomical instances when the Miller blade is more beneficial. The anatomical instances include a long epiglottis, prominent upper incisors, or a deep or anterior glottis.
Typically there are three different procedures:
- Indirect laryngoscopy: the doctor uses a small mirror and a light to look into the throat. The mirror is on a long handle, like the kind a dentist often uses, and it’s placed against the roof of the mouth. The doctor shines a light into it to see the image in the mirror. It can be done in a doctor’s office in just 5 to 10 minutes.
- Direct fiber-optic laryngoscopy: many doctors now do this kind, sometimes called flexible laryngoscopy. It uses a small telescope at the end of a cable, which goes up the nose and down into the throat. It takes less than 10 minutes.
- Direct laryngoscopy: it's the most common one. A direct laryngoscopy is used during general anesthesia, surgical procedures around the larynx, and resuscitation. This tool is useful in multiple hospital settings, from the emergency department to the intensive care unit and the operating room. Physicians use a laryngoscope to push down the tongue and lift up the epiglottis for removing small growths or samples of tissue for testing. They can also use this procedure to insert a tube into the windpipe to help someone breathe during an emergency or in surgery. Indeed, by visualizing the larynx, endotracheal intubation is facilitated. Direct laryngoscopy can take up to 45 minutes. One must be well acquainted with the anatomy, indications, contraindications, equipment, and personnel for successful use of direct laryngoscopy.
Recent advances in airway management have facilitated easier intubation by augmenting the laryngeal view with video technologies. Application of light-emitting diodes (LED) light, liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, and complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) video chip technology has made video augmentation more portable, easier to use, and feasible in today’s economic climate.