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NICE backs new intubation aid

A type of flexible endoscope has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to help with managing difficult intubation.

NICE has advised that the Ambu aScope2 can help health professionals when there are unexpected difficulties in positioning a temporary tube to keep the airway open, and emergency action is needed to maintain the airway.

It may also be used to replace dislodged tracheostomies, the institute said.

In a medical technologies guideline, NICE said the Ambu aScope2 is an acceptable alternative when the current gold standard device, a multiple-use fibre optic endoscope, is unavailable.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “There are an estimated 22,000 instances each year in the UK where there are unexpected difficulties with endotracheal intubation in patients.

“In some cases, this can result in patients being brain-damaged or dying because unexpected problems with keeping the airway open has left the patient starved of oxygen.”

She added: “This guidance can help clinical units fill a current gap in provision, and make sure that this effective device is available at the point of need in an emergency.”



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