GlideScope Laryngoscope Blade Recall: Breaking Blades

A recall has been issued for reusable laryngoscope blades, used by health care providers to view difficult airways or for tube placement, as the manufacturer indicates that the blades may be prone to developing cracks across the tip and breaking. 

The GlideScope GL Video Laryngoscopes blade recall was announced by the FDA on on November 29, after the manufacturer, Verathon Inc., learned the blades had design characteristics that could lead to them cracking and breaking. This could result in the blades breaking off in patients’ mouths, being swallowed or obstructing airways.

A laryngoscope is a medical instrument used to obtain a view of the vocal cords and the space between the cords.  The reusable blades were sold with a built-in anti-fogging mechanism and have a unique “hook-like” shape and at the end of the hook is a high resolution CMOS camera that provides real-time imaging to enabling quick intubation. The blades were sold in four sizes ranging from children’s to morbidly obese patients .

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Verathon Inc. initiated a recall on the following models within the specified serial numbers:

  • GlideScope GVL 3, 0574-0007: MD10500 to MD112387
  • GlideScope GVL 4, 0574-0001: LG105000 to LG112758
  • GlideScope GVL 5, 0574-0030: XL105000 to XL111798

The GlideScope GL Video Laryngoscopes reusable blades were manufactured between December 2010 and August 2011 and distributed directly to hospitals and other healthcare physicians through the United States, Canada, and other foreign countries.

To date, no injuries have been reported to Verathon Inc. but healthcare facilities should stop using the blades and contact Verathon Customer Care at (800) 331-2313 for a replacement blade if one has not already been provided. Customers can also email the company at cservice@verathon.com.

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