Video Laryngoscopes to ‘Vastly’ Improve Patient Outcomes & EMS Service

LAKE BARRINGTON, IL—The BCFPD is one of the first fire departments in the Northwest EMS System to equip their firefighter/paramedics with advanced video laryngoscope devices.  These life-saving tools significantly improve first responders’ ability to perform safe, effective intubation procedures in high-stress emergency situations.

Tracheal intubation – the placement of a flexible plastic tube into a patient’s windpipe to maintain oxygen flow or administer medications – is a difficult procedure in the best of circumstances.  It is especially challenging in emergency medical settings, where complications may arise due to the presence of blood, vomit, or other secretions in the patient’s airway.

Each video laryngoscope unit features a full-color LCD display that helps firefighter/paramedics clearly visualize the patient’s airway.  They are carried on BCFPD ambulances, and the Department’s fleet of advanced life support (ALS)-equipped fire engines.

“The video monitors offer crystal clear, real-time imaging that helps us precisely place the tube and limit the risk of injury to a patient’s vocal cords, soft tissue, and teeth,” explained BCFPD Assistant Fire Chief Scott Motisi.  “We expect these units to vastly improve our intubation success rate in the field.  That’s a critical advantage in situations where just a few minutes could mean the difference between success and failure.”

Video laryngoscopes provide an optimal balance of operational excellence and cost-effectiveness: Each individual unit consists of a disposable laryngoscope “blade” and reusable video display that may be connected to external monitors and recording devices, as needed. 

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