When clinicians consider adopting video laryngoscopy for routine use in their clinical practice, cost is one of the first concerns.
Several factors can drive the cost of video laryngoscopes up or down. The major components to consider include:
- Cost of the laryngoscope handle
- Cost of the laryngoscope blade
- Potential reduction in patient costs through avoided complications and improved outcomes
In this article we discuss key factors that can impact price estimates for video laryngoscopy systems. We’ll provide both the costs and benefits so you can get a better handle on the total expense of adopting this technology for your clinical practice.
Related: See the benefits of video laryngoscopy for your patients. Watch the testimonial.
Cost of a Video Laryngoscope Handle
There are two main types of video laryngoscope systems:
- Cart-based ― the video screen is off to the left on a separate screen
- Handheld ― the video screen is on the device itself
The different types drive how the systems are used and the associated costs. Prices range from $1,000 to $15,000 for video laryngoscopes compared to around $18 apiece for a single-use, disposable laryngoscope. If you buy in bulk, you may be able to cut the cost of your total purchase. For example, our McGRATH MAC™ video laryngoscope can cost less than $1,000 each when purchased in bulk.
Costs of Disposable and Reusable Laryngoscope Blades
The type of laryngoscope blade ― disposable or reusable ― also affects the cost of a video laryngoscope system. Reusable blades have a higher upfront cost as well as recurring costs because they need cleaning after each intubation. Disposable blades require only an upfront purchase and range from $6 to $18 each.
Additional Cost Factors
Video laryngoscopes require batteries, which cost from $24 to $50. Batteries last up to 250 minutes and are typically good for up to 100 intubations (less if you forget to turn the battery off after each use).
It’s also worth noting that most video laryngoscopes come with a warranty of up to three years.
How Do Video Laryngoscopes Potentially Lower Patient Costs?
Better glottic visualization can help avoid airway complications ― and their associated expenses.1 Video laryngoscopy first emerged as a device dedicated for difficult airway management. To help clinicians visualize the vocal cords in compromised patients, the video monitor was separated from the laryngoscope handle to increase the size of the screen.
As technology improved, screen resolution also improved but the larger, clearer screen has driven up the cost of the system. Given the limited use for compromised patients, the increased cost per intubation can be justified by the reduction in patient complications.
Adding video capture through USB or SDS memory cards also increases the cost of the total system. Video laryngoscopes designed as first-attempt devices tend to have smaller screens attached directly to the handle. Because a high-definition view is not needed for routine intubation, these laryngoscopes have less defined screen resolution than the difficult-airway devices. They still provide a better glottic view than traditional direct laryngoscopy and improve first-attempt success rates.1
Find the Right Solution for Your Needs
We recognize that every institution is different and that you have many factors to consider in your decision-making process. That’s why we offer several purchasing programs to help you make the video laryngoscope your routine device for intubations.
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1. Shin M, Bai SJ, Lee KY, Oh E, Kim HJ. Comparing McGRATH® MAC, C-MAC®, and Macintosh laryngoscopes operated by medical students: a randomized, crossover, manikin study. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:8943931.