In this study, we compared the manoeuvrability and ease of use of the single-use Ambu aScope and Olympus re-usable fibrescope in a manikin set to simulate difficult fibrescope placement. A total of 75 anaesthetists took part in this randomised crossover non-inferiority study. We recorded the time to task completion, tip surface collision count and participants' impression of ease of use. For the Ambu aScope and Olympus fibrescope, the mean (SD) first attempt time to task completion was 63 (31) s and 53 (23) s, respectively (95% CI of the difference 3-17 s), p = 0.008. This rejected the null hypothesis of a difference of > 30 s. The mean (SD) number of tip surface collisions was 2.7 (1.9) and 2.5 (1.8), respectively, (95% CI of the difference -0.4 to 0.7) p = 0.56. However, the participants found the Olympus easier to use (p < 0.001). Mean (SD) visual analogue scores for the perceived ease of use (0 mm = extremely difficult and 100 mm = extremely easy) were 65 (18) mm and 77 (14) mm for the Ambu aScope and Olympus scopes, respectively. This study found that the single-use Ambu aScope is as easy to manoeuvre as the Olympus re-usable fibrescope. This single-use device appears to be an acceptable alternative to the re-usable fibrescope.
© 2011 The Authors. Anaesthesia © 2011 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.