A study led by US-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center has demonstrated that a video laryngoscope enhances successful intubation on the first attempt.

The Direct Versus Video Laryngoscope trial compared video laryngoscope and direct laryngoscope for tracheal intubation of critically ill patients.

It revealed that a video laryngoscope increased successful intubation compared to the use of a direct laryngoscope.

The study compared the two devices that are used to intubate patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and the emergency department.

Vanderbilt University allergy, pulmonary and critical care medicine assistant professor and study co-senior author Matthew Semler said: “More than 1.5 million critically ill adults undergo tracheal intubation outside of an operating room in the US each year and about 80% of those are with a direct laryngoscope because the video devices are more expensive.

“Without evidence to tell us whether the video laryngoscope is worth the additional cost, their uptake into practice has been incomplete.”

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For the study, 1,417 patients were selected from 17 emergency departments and ICUs in 11 hospitals across the country.

It demonstrated that a video laryngoscope is beneficial for clinicians who are less experienced.

Further study is expected to be conducted for comparing the two types of video laryngoscopes, one resembling the direct laryngoscope and the other hyperangulated with a curved blade.

Semler added: “Although video laryngoscopes are known to improve the view, it has been unclear until now if they improve the ease with which a tube is passed. A few small and conflicting studies have been published, and the lack of definitive evidence has slowed adoption.”