The team led by Professor Lyu Yi from Xi 'an Jiaotong University (XJTU) Medical Health Center invented magnet-guided endotracheal intubation technology and successfully applied this technology in clinical practice on July 23, 2020. According to the records available, they are the first team to apply this technology into clinical settings around the globe.
Traditional endotracheal intubation is performed under laryngoscope, and a special endotracheal tube is inserted into the trachea or bronchus through oral or nasal cavity. The operator will be exposed to high-risk infection by the respiratory secretions due to intimate contact between the operator and patient's respiratory tract. After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, critically ill COVID-19 patients have to receive endotracheal intubation to improve oxygen saturation. However, novel coronavirus is characterized by respiratory droplets transmission and potent infectivity, which brings high-risk infection to the operators. To reduce the risk of infection, Professor Lyu Yi was determined to investigate how to apply magnet-guided technology to perform endotracheal intubation without exposing the respiratory tract of patients. The team led by Professor Lyu Yi have successfully applied this technology in animal, simulated human and organ donation experiments. On July 23, the team pioneered by Professor Lyu Yi intimately cooperated with the team led by Wang Qiang, Director of the Department of Anesthesiology from the First Affiliated Hospital of XJTU to successfully implement the world’s first case of magnet-guided endotracheal intubation. In this technology, external magnets are employed to guide the response magnets in the body to move towards the preset target area, and magnets are placed at the tip of the tracheal intubation guide strip to create the guide strip. The tip direction can be flexibly changed in the magnetic field environment. External guided-magnets are loaded in the anterior cervical region to suck the tip of the guide strip into the trachea.
Magnet-guided endotracheal intubation revolutionizes the inherent mode of traditional laryngoscope-guided endotracheal intubation, which does not expose the airway and yields no airway secretion splashing. Especially, it is convenient to operate and simple to master, which can be popularized to the ordinary citizens. More importantly, it can be applied to emergency resuscitation and treatment of severe infectious diseases of the respiratory system, which can improve resuscitation efficiency, minimize direct contact between medical staff and respiratory tract of the patients, lower the risk of infection and reduce theworkload of anesthesiologists.
Professor Lyu Yi highlighted that the successful implementation of magnet-guided endotracheal intubation technology has revolutionized conventional endotracheal intubation mode and resolved the professional problems of intubation. It is convenient to introduce this method to the public, which contributes to improving the quality and altering the mode of emergency rescue. Subsequently, the team led by Professor Lyu Yi will continue to develop magnet-guided endotracheal intubation robot, which will make a revolutionary breakthrough in medical research and better serve people's health in the era of Internet plus Internet of Things.