How to Take Care of Video Laryngoscope Blades

I was hoping Joe would be the bad guy on this one, but I guess it falls to me.

There has been a relatively consistent lack of care for the video intubation equipment. I have walked into 5 shifts in the past 2 months with a dirty blade sitting on top of the intubation cart (if you think I am talking about you, I am, but not just you so don’t feel that bad).

Each of these blades cost a few thousand dollars. Joe & Stu worked to get us this new equipment. Convincing the hospital to replace broken items is going to be pretty tough.

So the image above should never exist: Either the blade should be sitting in a drawer or it should be in your hand. NOWHERE ELSE. Getting ready for an intubation–keep it in the drawer. Things fall off flat tops, they do not fall out of drawers.

Clean and ready blades go in the top drawer

Dirty blades go in the sterilization tray and get brought to the front desk to go to central sterile. Blades should not be sent down to central if they are not in the tray.

If you have used a blade, but the sterilization tray is downstairs, put the blade in a specimen bag and put it in the lower drawer.

This should happen immediately after intubation as in IMMEDIATELY after intubation.

The residents should be taking care of this, but it is the responsibility of the ED attending to make sure it happens and happens properly. We will be blaming the attending not the resident if blades are not handled properly because we are consistent while residents come and go as outside rotators or while switching between institutions.

Please write Joe or me with any questions.