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Correspondence  |   May 1997
Mini Flashlight as a Spare Light Source for a Failing Fiberoptic Laryngoscope 
Author Notes
  • Abt. Anasthesiologie I, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, 30623 Hannover, Germany.
Article Information
Correspondence
Correspondence   |   May 1997
Mini Flashlight as a Spare Light Source for a Failing Fiberoptic Laryngoscope 
Anesthesiology 5 1997, Vol.86, 1217. doi:
Anesthesiology 5 1997, Vol.86, 1217. doi:
To the Editor:-Various ways to illuminate the laryngeal structures in case of a failure of the laryngoscope light have been described. In a report of 1935, a modified Magill's forceps is used. [1 ] Later publications recommend external light sources such as a pencil torch [2,3 ] and a head light. [4 ] We suggest the use of a pocket flashlight as a spare light source inside a laryngoscope with fiberoptic light transmission.
In the unlikely event of a failure of both available laryngoscopes, [3 ] the battery pack and light bulb of one of the laryngoscopes are removed from the handle. The flashlight is switched on and focused, and then firmly inserted into the handle and held in place with the hand holding the laryngoscope, or it is secured with a tape (Figure 1). The brightness of this construction is comparable with that produced by a properly functioning laryngoscope and provides a sufficient view of the larynx. The replacement of the light source takes only a few seconds; the assistance of trained or untrained personnel is, in contrast to other recommendations, [2,3 ] not necessary. It should be noted, however, that this method requires intact optic fibers and obviously does not work with “bulb-on-blade”-type laryngoscopes.
Figure 1. Pocket flashlight inside the (transparent) laryngoscope handle; battery pack removed.
Figure 1. Pocket flashlight inside the (transparent) laryngoscope handle; battery pack removed.
Figure 1. Pocket flashlight inside the (transparent) laryngoscope handle; battery pack removed.
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The flashlight should have a bright, focusable light beam and a diameter between 23 and 28 mm to fit properly into a laryngoscope with a C-cell battery pack. Its length should exceed that of the laryngoscope handle to allow a tight fixing. We use a Mini Maglite(TM) size AA flashlight (Mag Instrument, Inc., Ontario, CA) for this purpose. Because this type of flashlight frequently is used for patient examination in our department (including the testing of tendon reflexes) and therefore often at hand, we believe this suggestion can be helpful.
Michael Przemeck, M.D.; Burkhard Vangerow, M.D.; Bernhard Panning, M.D.
Abt. Anasthesiologie I; Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
30623 Hannover; Germany
(Accepted for publication February 26, 1997.)
References 
References 
Lundy JS, Tovell RM: Annual report for 1934 of section on anesthesia: including data on blood transfusion. Proc Staff Meet, Mayo Clin 1935; 10:257-72.
Kubota Y, Toyoda Y, Kubota H: Endotracheal intubation assisted with a pencil torch (letter). Anesthesiology 1988; 68:167.
Saunders PR, Bras PJ, McCarroll SM: An illuminating suggestion (letter). Anesthesiology 1988; 69:1027-8.
Stowell DE: An alternative light source for laryngoscopy (letter). Anesthesiology 1994; 80:487.
Crosby ET: Lighting the way in emergency airway care (letter). Can J Anaesth 1994; 41:78.
Figure 1. Pocket flashlight inside the (transparent) laryngoscope handle; battery pack removed.
Figure 1. Pocket flashlight inside the (transparent) laryngoscope handle; battery pack removed.
Figure 1. Pocket flashlight inside the (transparent) laryngoscope handle; battery pack removed.
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