Three Rivers Ambulance Authority has purchased 20 new King Vision portable video laryngoscopes to assist paramedics in treating patients who have stopped breathing or having airway complications.
The new video laryngoscopes are used to view the windpipe during a tracheal intubation. The paramedic inserts a plastic tube into a patient’s mouth, through the windpipe and into the trachea to help them breathe. There is a camera on one end of the device that transmits a video feed to the screen on the opposite end.
"We do about 30 to 40 of these procedures a week," said Dan O' Shaughnessey, education coordinator, operations division at Three Rivers Ambulance Authority.
Paramedics use specific landmarks inside the windpipe to navigate and correctly place the tube into the patient’s trachea, which leads to the lungs. Since early January Three Rivers Ambulance Authority staff has been training on how to use the new devices O' Shaughnessey said. It is a procedure that can only be performed by trained Paramedics.
"This can be a very difficult procedure in obese patients, the new equipment should help," said Rob Smith, chief operating officer of Three Rivers Ambulance Authority. Smith added they seem to have more and more overweight patients to deal with. The tool is designed for adults and the procedure can increase the speed and accuracy of the process.
Previously, Three Rivers Ambulance Authority used laryngoscopes with fiber optic lights. O' Shaughnessey said they will still carry those devices in their ambulances just in case they are needed. Three Rivers Ambulance Authority paramedics began using the new laryngoscopes in the field on Monday.
Three Rivers Ambulance Authority is the 911 ambulance transport service for the city of Fort Wayne, employing more than 130 local residents and responding to approximately 40,000 calls per year.