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Recent years have seen a rapid expansion in optical devices used to aid in endotracheal (ET) intubation. The devices that use fiberoptics begin near the distal end and transmit an image to be viewed at the proximal end. Some of these devices are variations on the “optical stylet” concept (Table 21-1). They consist of an eyepiece or other viewing mechanism attached to stylet of varying degrees of flexibility. A standard ET tube can be jacketed onto each device. The stylet can then be used as an adjunct to standard ET intubation or as a stand-alone device. These devices are being replaced by video laryngoscopes that are more versatile, easier to operate, and easily learned by a novice user. Most fiberoptic stylets and their variations are falling out of favor and are less often used today.

TABLE 21-1Some of the Commercially Available Fiberoptic Devices

Traditional direct laryngoscopy requires alignment of the oral, pharyngeal, and laryngeal axes to visualize the glottis. It is not always possible to align ...

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