The Technology of Video Laryngoscopy

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Tracheal intubation via laryngeal exposure has evolved over the past 150 years and has greatly expanded in the last decade with the introduction and development of newer, more sophisticated optical airway devices. The introduction of indirect and video-assisted laryngoscopes has significantly impacted airway management as evidenced by the presence of these devices in the majority of published difficult airway algorithms. However, it is quite possible that many airway managers do not have a thorough comprehension of how these devices actually function, an understanding that is vital not only for their use but also for assessing the devices’ limitations. This article discusses the development of video laryngoscopy, how the video laryngoscope works, and the impact of video laryngoscopy on difficult airway management.

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