Intubation & COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a worldwide impact on our lives. This rapidly moving virus has caused concerns and challenges in our lives, whether it be economical, social or medical. These challenges have been met with swift action. Medical teams and other frontline workers have needed to quickly implement protocols and action plans to combat this virus and ensure the safety and well-being of all concerned. One of the many concerns is that of airway management for the critically ill COVID-19 patient. The aim of airway management in these cases is to minimise aerosol and droplet spread, hence reducing the risk of COVID-19 to be transmitted to healthcare workers.
The Medical Journal of Australia has published a consensus statement: Safe Airway Society principles of the airway management endotracheal intubation specific to the COVID-19 adult patient. This showed that 10% of COVID-19 positive adult patients required urgent endotracheal intubation for sudden and profound hypoxia.
Some key points from the statement regarding airway management include:
- Disposable airway equipment is always preferred
- Endotracheal intubation is the best option
- Use a 2nd generation supraglottic device, if used higher seal pressures may reduce the risk of aerosolization of the virus
- Video laryngoscopy is not available everywhere but those devices with disposable blades are recommended
- Avoid close contact with the patient’s mouth
- First Pass Success minimizes the risk of aerosolization of the virus
As we know intubation carries risks even in optimum situations. When dealing with COVID-19 patients this risk is higher, particularly in circumstances that are less than ideal, including a prehospital setting, high-risk patients or a ‘code-blue’ on a ward. Fortunately, Midmed has the solution with the Vie Scope.
The Vie Scope and bougie is a patented method of securing the most difficult airway. The Vie Scope is a self-contained, battery-powered, disposable tube with a bevelled end to visualise the vocal cords better than other methods using the naked eye. LED lights illuminate the entire length of the tube, minimising the risk of light obstruction from secretion or blood. This allows for an excellent straight line of site view. The bougie has brightly coloured marked bands at both ends, this assists with rapid Insertion and ensuring the correct placement and depth is maintained. The main advantage of both the Vie Scope and bougie in the current climate is that are both disposable. This should be done as per your specific area’s disposal policies This eliminates any risk that laryngoscope handles may be infected with the virus.
Clinicians can maintain distance from the patient’s nose and mouth when using DV scope and booty approach. This approach has another important benefit, it has the highest first-pass intubation success rate even with difficult intubations.
These are worrying times but as you can see the Vie Scope has reduced some concerns of safe airway management. If you would like further information on this product, please contact one of our friendly team members at Midmed.