Just a quick word about the ‘airtraq’. I’ve been dealing with difficult airways for quite some time now and this is one of the few devices that have come my way that I can say wow about! This one really works! I should point out that I don’t have any financial interest in the company that manufactures them.

In fact, I didn’t like the device the first time I used it. That was because my technique was all wrong! A slight change in technique and I feel I can put a tube through any set of cords.

Above are some videos of the recent airway workshop where we tried them out and when the technique was right it worked every time.

When reviewed in Anaesthesia 2008 and British Journal of Anaesthesia, especially in comparison to a standard mac blade they had a better outcome. There was also a role in airway management in the obese patient. Certainly for me the proof is in how it feels and how I perform with it and I have to say that it is very impressive.

The cost is about $100 and they are disposable. This may at first seems a bit expensive, given that a laryngoscope is about the same price and this is a disposable unit. However, this is for use when it gets tough and you need to get a direct view of the cords. If you had one to train with, and kept one or two in the box, a $200-$300 investment gives you great piece of mind.

Have a look at the videos and make up your own mind. I personally love them and we use them in the workshops now almost exclusively. Come along and practice, practice, practice.