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Trick of the Trade: Laryngoscope lifting strength

2016-11-11T19:01:46+00:00

IntubationYou are about to endotracheally intubate a patient. As you struggle to elevate the laryngoscope more anteriorly, has your left hand ever trembled while trying to see the vocal cords? Before you say, “I think the cords are too anterior, hand me the [insert your favorite backup airway adjunct]“, let’s focus on some basics.

How can you gain significantly more laryngoscope lift strength? You can do more left arm bicep/tricep exercises, or…

Trick of the Trade

Hold the laryngoscope handle as close to the blade as possible.

Grabbing part of the blade helps to stabilize against the “waggling” of the handle. Furthermore, it is easier to pull exactly along the long-axis of the handle at this grip point. I would avoid holding the laryngoscope handle as shown in the image above. Is the physician intubating or holding a fragile cup of tea? 

The most stabilizing larngyoscope grip which provides maximal lift strength.

Photo1_LaryngoscopeGripMedsm

For other airway Tricks of the Trade, take a look an older post.
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD