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August 17, 2004, 12:00:00 am
FiberTech launches a Video Laryngoscope for emergency care

Summary

A medical device company FiberTech Co., Ltd. (head office: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, capital: 236 million JPYen, hereinafter “FiberTech”) has announced that it has launched the Video Laryngoscope FVL-601i and Video Processor FVL-501c (collectively, hereinafter the “FVL”) as of August 17, 2004. The FVL is a system of an entirely new concept that adds a video scope to the conventional laryngoscope used for endotracheal intubation at the time of general anesthesia or emergency care. With this revolutionary system, multiple staffs can observe the larynx on the monitor during the intubation procedure and ensure the appropriateness of the procedure.


Background

The number of cases of cardiopulmonary arrest on arrival of paramedics is as high as 9820 in Tokyo alone (2003). Patients in cardiopulmonary arrest are unable to breathe spontaneously thus it is necessary to perform artificial respiration as well as cardiac massage and deliver oxygen to the brain in order to prevent destruction of brain cells. The problem here was that paramedics were not allowed to perform the medical action of endotracheal intubation (introducing a tube into the trachea to supply air) against patients in cardiopulmonary arrest. However, the law has been changed as of July 2004 and paramedics are now allowed to perform on-site endotracheal intubation. Endotracheal intubation is a medical action that requires experience and technique and it is not easy to introduce the tube into the trachea with the conventional medical devices. To solve this problem, FiberTech has developed a Video Laryngoscope (a device in the form of video scope that supports endotracheal intubation) by applying its technology of manufacturing ultra-thin endoscopes. With the development support of Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, and Division of Emergency Medicine, Dokkyo Medical University, the FVL proves to be a very helpful tool for both educational and clinical use.


Characteristics

Visibility:
The conventional method of endotracheal intubation using a conventional laryngoscope introduces an endotracheal tube into the trachea by looking inside the mouth through the narrow space, and it has been difficult to see the opening of the trachea. The FVL employs a high-resolution micro CCD camera at the tip of the blade and provides wide field of view achieved by a wide-angle lens, so it is possible to display the image of the larynx clearly on the monitor. The wide and bright illumination supplied by the special optical fibers is also effective in performing endotracheal intubation at the time of general anesthesia or emergency care.

Educational use:
It is necessary for paramedics to acquire experience of 30 cases of clinical intubation under the supervision of supervisory doctors mainly in university hospitals before performing on-site endotracheal intubation. However, with the conventional laryngoscope, it has been difficult for the supervisory doctors to show his/her procedure to all learning paramedics because the space for observation has been very limited. The FVL, on the other hand, allows observation of the supervisor’s procedure on the monitor and this is very useful for training and education.

Recording property:
The FVL has a video output so the obtained images can be recorded by connecting the system to a commercially available video recorder, hard disk recorder, etc.

Future prospect:
FiberTech is now participating in the Medical Image Wireless Transfer Working Group RC-46 (Chairman: Professor Dr. Hiroshi Yasuda, Center for Collaborative Research, the University of Tokyo) and cooperating in research and development of the medical control system (transferring medical images wirelessly from emergency site to a hospital in order to receive instructions from a doctor). Kagawa University Hospital has already performed experiments, and it is expected that endotracheal intubation under the medical control system will be available in the future. The FVL is a potential product that may save more lives of patients to whom conventional means are unable to provide sufficient artificial respiration during transportation from the emergency site to the hospital.

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