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SAVES gets new video laryngoscopy device

Technology makes it easier for first responders to establish airway in patients

SAVES Executive Director Jeff VanBeveren demonstrates the use of the organization’s new Glidescope Cobalt AVL on a training dummy. The larynx of the dummy, as projected by the Glidescope real-time video camera attached to the end of the trachea tube, can be seen on the monitor to the right.

SAVES Executive Director Jeff VanBeveren demonstrates the use of the organization’s new Glidescope Cobalt AVL on a training dummy. The larynx of the dummy, as projected by the Glidescope real-time video camera attached to the end of the trachea tube, can be seen on the monitor to the right. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— SAVES became aware of the Glidescope Cobalt AVL after its medical director, Dr. David M. Landsberg, a critical care physician at Crouse Hospital, saw the device purchased and utilized at Crouse and suggested that SAVES look into it.

“I’ve been to number of trade shows and seen devices similar to this and always thought it looked like a good buy, but we’ve never really had the money,” VanBeveren said. “So the salesman came out and gave us the pitch and I was immediately sold on it. Everything he said about it was true. I could see it was clearly going to be a worthwhile expenditure for the organization.”

But change is sometimes hard to accept, and some of the SAVES volunteers who have been doing the traditional intubation technique for decades at first scoffed at the idea of the new device. But once they trained on it they were impressed that it is so much faster and more productive, VanBeveren said.

The ease of using the Glidescope is also beneficial to SAVES in particular because, as a small ambulance service with about 900 calls annually, they only perform from 12 to 30 intubations per year. This makes it difficult to keep the volunteers (especially the part-timers) trained in the technique, VanBeveren said.

SAVES personnel have been training on the device although it has not yet been used in the field, VanBeveren said.

When it is ready for field use, the Glidescope will be placed in each day’s “prime” ambulance (SAVES has two ambulances), to which one of the three full-time SAVES personnel is always assigned, VanBeveren said.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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