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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 12 October 2018

RUH leads in patient safety video technology

Video technology that makes intubation – the process of keeping a patient's airway open to allow them to breathe during an operation – much safer has been introduced at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

The Royal United Hospital is now using video laryngoscopes – a metal tool with an integral camera – to help an anaesthetist place a breathing tube into a patient's trachea to allow oxygen and other gases to pass into and out of the lungs.

Other hospitals use video laryngoscopes only in extreme circumstances, but the RUH is now the first in the UK to provide the new equipment for all such routine procedures.

They will be used in all areas of the hospital including operating theatres, the Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency Department.

RUH Consultant Anaesthetist Professor Tim Cook said: "The new video laryngoscopes are another important step in improving patient safety, both during routine anaesthesia and especially in cases where we're dealing with a difficult airway. The video laryngoscope improves the view of the airway, making this critical procedure more reliable, easier and safer.

"These video laryngoscopes really come into their own when there is difficulty and can change a life-threatening problem into one that can be easily managed. By making this technology available in all areas of the hospital – what we call universal video laryngoscopy – I have no doubt that we have increased patient safety."

RUH Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Fiona Kelly said: "Because the video laryngoscopes are equipped with a camera, the image we need is displayed on a screen which anyone in the room can see – this improves teamwork, training and patient safety."

Dr Tim Craft, RUH Director of Research and Innovation, said: "The RUH's anaesthetic department was recently ranked in the three leading research departments in the world. This latest innovation illustrates that the department and the Trust are committed to investing in research and innovation that benefits patient safety."

Notes to Editor
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and is now working towards a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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