Awake intubation with the Pentax Airway Scope


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We read with interest the article by Dr Teoh et al. comparing three videolaryngoscopes (Pentax Airway Scope® (AWS; Pentax Corporation, Tokyo, Japan), C-MAC™ (Karl Storz, Tuttlingen, Germany) and Glidescope® (Verathon, Bothell, WA, USA)) with the Macintosh laryngoscope for tracheal intubation during anaesthesia in patients without predictors of difficult intubation. The Pentax Airway Scope performed well in their study for intubating times, ease of intubation and laryngeal views obtained [1]. The Pentax Airway Scope has also previously been used for awake intubation [2, 3]. We would like to share our experience of using this device.

We have been using a variety of videolaryngoscopes regularly in our institution. We have found the Pentax Airway Scope useful in difficult intubations as well, and have therefore started using the device as an alternative to awake fibreoptic intubation in patients with adequate mouth opening. The sedation and local anaesthetic regime we use are the same as for an oral awake fibreoptic intubation. We have found several advantages in using the Pentax Airway Scope compared with the fibreoptic bronchoscope. In our experience, it is quicker and easier to set up, is battery-operated, comes with an attached screen and has a single-use disposable blade, and proficiency in its use requires less training and practice. Grade-1 Cormack and Lehane laryngoscopic views are typically obtained even in patients with grade-3 and -4 views with conventional laryngoscopy [4]. Anaesthetists encountering difficult airways on a sporadic basis may prefer to use the Pentax Airway Scope for awake intubation. The main disadvantage is that approximately 25 mm of mouth opening is required for its insertion.

No external funding and no competing interests declared. Previously posted at the Anaesthesia Correspondence website: