The use of video devices in assisting the placement of breathing tube in babies


One in a 100 newborn may need placement of breathing tube (intubation) for survival. Video-assisted placement of the breathing tube may be easier than a standard approach.

Study characteristics

In this review, we sought evidence for the usefulness of these video-assisted devices for the placement of breathing tubes in babies. We searched scientific databases for clinical trials of babies who needed intubation in the delivery room, operating room or intensive care unit. The studies could measure time to intubation, number of attempts at intubation or success rate of first intubation. The evidence is current to May 2013.

Key results and quality of the evidence

We found no clinical studies that met our selection criteria. We make a case for further research in evaluating the use of video-assisted devices in the placement of breathing tubes in newborns.

Authors' conclusions: 

There was insufficient evidence to recommend or refute the use of videolaryngoscopy for endotracheal intubation in neonates. Well-designed, adequately powered randomized controlled studies are necessary to address efficacy and safety of videolaryngoscopy for endotracheal intubation in neonates.

Read the full abstract...

Establishment of secure airway is a critical part of neonatal resuscitation both in the delivery room and in the neonatal unit. Videolaryngoscopy is a new technique that has the potential to facilitate successful endotracheal intubation and decrease adverse consequences of delay in airway stabilization. Videolaryngoscopy may enhance visualization of the glottis and intubation success in neonates.


To determine the efficacy and safety of videolaryngoscopy compared to direct laryngoscopy in decreasing the time and attempts required and increasing the success rate for endotracheal intubation in neonates.

Search strategy: 

We used the search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. We searched for randomized controlled trials evaluating videolaryngoscopy for neonatal endotracheal intubation in May 2013 in the electronic databases; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); MEDLINE; EMBASE; CINAHL; abstracts of the Pediatric Academic Societies; websites for registered trials at and; and in the reference lists of relevant studies.

Selection criteria: 

Randomized or quasi-randomized trials in neonates evaluating videolaryngoscopy for endotracheal intubation compared with direct laryngoscopy.

Data collection and analysis: 

Review authors performed data collection and analysis as recommended by the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. Two review authors (KL and MP) independently assessed studies identified by the search strategy for inclusion.

Main results: 

Our search strategy performed in May 2013 yielded 7057 references. Two review authors (MP and KL) independently assessed all references for inclusion. We did not find any completed studies for inclusion but identified three ongoing trials and one study awaiting classification.