Many babies admitted to a neonatal unit have breathing problems
Some babies need additional help using a breathing machine called a ventilator. This requires a breathing tube to be placed into the windpipe at the top of the lungs using a piece of equipment called a laryngoscope. Many premature babies also require a medicine called surfactant, a treatment for stiff lungs, which is given directly into the windpipe. A laryngoscope is also used in these babies.
How laryngoscopes work
The standard laryngoscope only allows one person to look into the baby’s mouth to see a view of the voice box (or larynx) at the top of the windpipe. The breathing tube is then gently passed into the windpipe. There are now high-tech laryngoscopes (called video laryngoscopes) available which have tiny cameras on them that display the view of the voice box on a screen. Simpsons Special Care Babies kindly provided funding for video laryngoscopes for us to use on the neonatal unit.
Advanced staff training in the neonatal unit
This equipment has many benefits for babies and staff. The equipment is state of the art and the quality of video on the screen is fantastic. It makes obtaining a clear view of the voice box easier, which can sometimes be challenging in babies. It allows us to provide higher quality teaching of this highly specialised skill. Staff can first learn from the expertise of others by watching on the screen whilst a colleague performs the procedure. Senior staff can then directly assist staff who are developing this skill by sharing the view of the voice box and providing direct feedback.
The pictures (shown using a simulation doll) demonstrate how helpful the video laryngoscope is.
Thank you to Simpsons Special Care Babies and their supporters for funding such a useful piece of equipment!
Learn more about the life saving equipment your support helps fund.