Fire District 6 gets new breathing tool

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A new tool will help paramedics with Clark County Fire District 6 save time while placing breathing tubes into patients’ airways during major medical calls.

The district recently equipped its first out vehicles with video laryngoscopes. Each device has a small video camera attached to the end of a component that is used to guide the breathing tube into the patient’s trachea. The image is displayed through a screen on the other end of the device.

The alternative requires firefighters to put their face directly above the patient’s mouth to look down his or her throat.

The new tool will improve the chances of placing the tube faster and more accurately, said Mike Hollingsworth, Emergency Medical Services training captain for Fire District 6.

“Time is critical at this point,” he said. “The more time you spend looking, the less time the patient is breathing.”

Each disposable device, which has a camera and LED light, costs $24. The nondisposable screen section costs $950. It takes three standard AAA batteries.

The next available option for a video laryngoscope is a $12,000 model that is used in emergency rooms, Hollingsworth said.

Fire District 6 is the first agency in the county to use the devices, Hollingsworth said.