Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

New device keeps patients airways open during breathing difficulties

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 30/07/2013

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance has given support to a revolutionary device that will improve the way health professionals keep patients airways open during unexpected problems.

The Ambu aScope2 is a thin flexible tube which has a light and video camera on the end. It will enable a breathing tube to be placed correctly when a patient is experiencing breathing difficulties.

Airways often become closed when patients are under anaesthesia. Whilst under anaesthesia the muscles of the body become paralysed making it difficult for the person to breathe.

This device would enable a quicker more cost effective method of saving lives and the highest savings could be made when the device is used in the intensive care setting.

There are certain factors that may increase the chances of a patient needing the use of this instrument, such as:

  • Obesity
  • A small mouth opening
  • Neck and face trauma
  • Cancer
  • Lung or windpipe infection

Improper intubation can lead to terrible consequences such as brain damage due to the brain being starved of oxygen or even death. Intubation is the insertion of a tube into the airways to maintain the airway for other uses.

By putting this new technology in place in an emergency setting it would fill the current gap in this particular area.

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: "The device supported in this new NICE guidance is an important step forward to patient safety, providing a potentially lifesaving option when unexpected difficulties occur."

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