Lightwand intubation: I--a new lightwand device

Can J Anaesth. 1995 Sep;42(9):820-5. doi: 10.1007/BF03011186.


Tracheal intubation under direct vision using a laryngoscope can be challenging and difficult even in experienced hands. Transillumination of the soft tissues of the neck using a lighted-stylet (lightwand) is one of many effective alternative intubating techniques developed during the past several decades. While many versions of lightwand have been available, each has its limitations. A newly developed lightwand (Trachlight) has incorporated many design modifications. It has a brighter bulb, permitting intubation under ambient light in most cases. A retractable stiff wire within the wand adds flexibility to facilitate both oral and nasal intubation. The flexible wand also allows visual (transillumination) guide to proper placement of the tip of the tracheal tube in the trachea. The Trachlight does have some limitations. It is a light-guided technique in which there is no direct visualization of the upper airway structures. It should be avoided in patients with known anatomical abnormalities of the upper airway and used with caution in patients in whom transillumination of the anterior neck may not be achieved adequately. As with any intubating technique, successful intubation using the Trachlight relies on the preparation of the patient and the operator's skill and experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
  • Lighting