Neonatal intubation is an essential but difficult skill to learn. Videolaryngoscopy allows the airway view to be shared by the intubator and supervisor and improves intubation success. Ideally, a videolaryngoscope (VL) should be usable as a conventional laryngoscope (CL).
The aims of this study were to describe differences in the shape of currently available CL and VL blades and to compare the direct airway view obtainable on a neonatal manikin with different laryngoscope blades.
Three main differences were observed; Compared to CL, the VL blades have a reduced vertical height, a curved tip and curved body. The direct airway view obtained by the VL is narrower than that obtained with the CL, although the corresponding view on the VL screen is maintained.
There are several differences between CL and currently available VL blades. These result in a narrowed direct view and reduced space for passing an endotracheal tube. Minor adaptation of intubation technique may be required when using a VL. Modifying the VL blades to reduce these differences may improve their usefulness as an intubation training tool.