In the prehospital setting, the emergency care provider must anticipate that some patients will manifest with difficult airways. The use of video laryngoscopy to secure an airway in the prehospital setting has not been explored widely, but has the potential to be a useful tool. This article briefly reviews some of the major video laryngoscopes on the market and their usefulness in the prehospital setting. Studies and case reports indicate that the video laryngoscope is a promising device for emergency intubation, and it has been predicted that, in the future, video laryngoscopy will dominate the field of emergency airway management.
Direct laryngoscopy always should be retained as a primary skill; however, the video laryngoscope has the potential to be a good primary choice for the patient with potential cervical spine injuries or limited jaw or spine mobility, and in the difficult-to-access patient.The role of video laryngoscopes in securing an airway in head and neck trauma victims in the prehospital setting has yet to be determined, but offers interesting possibilities. Further clinical studies are necessary to evaluate its role in airway management by prehospital emergency medical services.