|It is an instrument used for intubation and direct laryngoscopy. It consists of two parts – the blade and the handle. The handle contains the battery container, which acts as an energy source for the light source. The blades are of two varieties:
1) Straight blade
2) Curved blade
Straight blade is used to depress the tongue whereas the curved blade pushes the epiglottis to one side to visualize the glottis. In infants, the straight blade is preferred whereas in older children (more than 8 years), the curved blade is preferred.
There are various sizes of the laryngoscope available in different numbers e.g. 0,1,2,3,4. The numbers increases with the size of the blade.
Care has to be taken while doing laryngoscopy to prevent injury to the oral structures especially dislocation and aspiration of the tooth. Maximum trauma is caused by utilization of upper anterior teeth or gums as a fulcrum point. Laryngoscopy is also used to pick up any foreign body in the larynx, for passing a bronchoscope / esophagoscope and also for throat packing.
The various parts of the laryngoscope are sterilized separately. The blade is washed under running tap water with detergent giving special attention to cleaning around the light bulb and then boiled/autoclaved/gas sterilized or chemically sterilized with alcohol/glutaraldehyde.