Soft palate trauma induced during GlideScope intubation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The GlideScope (GVL; Saturn Biomedical Systems, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) is a rigid indirect video laryngoscope device that facilitates exposure of the larynx for placement of the endotracheal tube. This blade also reduces the requirement for anterior displacement of the tongue. A unique feature is the acutely angled blade which provides an improved glottic view. Herein, we present 2 instances of soft palate trauma, a rare oropharyngeal complication linked to GlideScope use. In the first case, the GlideScope was used for pedagogical purposes for intubation in a knee surgery. In the second case, GlideScope was used to secure the airway of an obese patient with a Mallampati class 3 airway and, therefore, presumed difficult intubation. Use of the GlideScope requires less lifting force (approximately 0.5-1.5 kg) than direct laryngoscopy to achieve visualization of the glottis, so less traction is applied to soft tissue. However, meticulous care must be taken even by experienced operators to ensure correct use to decrease the incidence of oropharyngeal injuries, especially in patients with difficult airways. Increased vigilance makes the GlideScope an invaluable tool despite its potential complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-280
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway management issues
  • Induction of anesthesia
  • Quality improvement
  • Tracheal intubation
  • Trauma in anesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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