David Edwards

Sales Director, Ambu Ltd.

Q: Last year Ambu launched an extremely innovative new product. Can you tell us more about it?

A: Yes, the Ambu aScope is a revolutionary single-patient use flexible intubating scope. It incorporates all the unique demands of intubation within anaesthesiology but in a disposable format. It has a lightweight ergonomic handle design for better intubation comfort and it utilises camera technology instead of fibre optics, which ensures a good, clear image which is displayed on the high-resolution Ambu® aScope™ Monitor. The Ambu aScope Monitor itself is completely portable and runs off a rechargeable battery so it can be used anywhere in the hospital. It takes less than 30 seconds to get the aScope ready for use as no light balancing is required and there is no unwieldy stack to manoeuvre either. In short, the Ambu aScope is ready to go wherever and whenever it is needed. It was designed with functional simplicity in mind in order to decrease the risk of human error factors. It is quite literally plug and play!

Q: What prompted Ambu to develop this product?

A: When Ambu were investigating what they wanted to invest their R&D resources into they spent a lot of time with anaesthetists from across the world asking a number of questions. What became apparent was that the incidence of difficult airways was on the rise and that although the majority of hospitals had the necessary apparatus to deal with these situations, it wasn’t always available. This was a situation that Ambu wanted to improve. By providing a single-patient use flexible intubating scope, hospitals can now ensure the availability of these devices at a relatively low start up cost and at a realistic continuous use price (without the inconvenience of reprocessing protocols). The incidence of an unanticipated difficult airway might be extremely small but they can and do happen. This device allows hospitals to ensure that parts of a hospital that might not have fibrescopes at hand, such as obs & gynae, A&E and even remote theatres, can have a similar device available, should they ever need one.

Q: How has the anaesthetics community received the Ambu aScope?

A: Many different hospitals have bought the aScope and the feedback we are getting from them is that the aScope is very simple and easy to use, that it is an intuitive device and very comfortable to use (it is much lighter than traditional fibrescopes). I think everyone that we have presented the aScope to has seen the benefits of having a device like this available on the market. The aScope has a facebook page now and we would encourage anyone that has tried it to visit the page (Ambu aScope UK) to leave their feedback/hints/tips/tricks etc so that they can share it with their fellow anaesthetists and also with us.

Q: What product training does Ambu provide for the aScope?

A: Ambu will shortly be bringing out a training version of the aScope. The clinical version has a chip in it that will time-out after a certain set period of time. The training version will not have this chip. This means the aScope Trainer can be used over and over again. In this way, anaesthetists can keep on top of their aScope flexible intubation training skills without the worry of accidentally breaking a fibre optic version (which could potentially be very expensive) or siphoning a much needed fibre optic scope away from theatres.

Q: I understand that there is an aScope Roadshow. Can you tell us more about that?

A: Basically the aScope Roadshow consists of an Ambu Territory Manager “facilitating” a training session. The Ambu Territory Manager will come armed with an insightful presentation, training manikins, videos of different techniques, clinical documentation and, of course, the aScope Trainer. The Roadshow has been designed for anaesthetists that are interested in learning more about the aScope and would like to have a good practice with it (there is absolutely no obligation to buy afterwards), or for anaesthetists that might already have aScopes within their hospital and would like to spend more time honing their aScope technique. All attendees to the aScope Roadshow are also entered into a prize draw to win one of 4 iPads as well! If anyone is interested in having the Roadshow visit their hospital they can contact us either by phone, email or even via facebook!

Q: How does the Ambu aScope compliment your current product portfolio?

A: The aScope compliments our current range perfectly as we already have our very popular range of Aura laryngeal masks (the straight, flexible and the curved version), UltraSeal anaesthesia facemasks, SPUR II resuscitators and we also distribute exclusively the Pentax AWS rigid indirect laryngoscope. We have also recently launched the Aura-i which is a special laryngeal mask designed for everyday use that also facilitates intubation in case of a difficult airway. Anaesthesia is an area we are particularly dedicated to and we are excited about our ever-expanding range.

Q: Have you got any new products coming out within the next year?

A: We have been taking all the feedback we have been given about out current product range and fed it back to R&D in Denmark. We expect to see further advancements of our products based on this very shortly. In addition we have some very exciting new product developments in the pipeline and, of course, we will also have the aScope Trainer coming very soon, too.

Ambu, the company that brought you the very first manual resuscitator in 1956, is a Danish company that develops, produces and markets diagnostic and life-supporting equipment and solutions to hospitals and rescue services across the world. Ambu has three business areas: Airway Management, Patient Monitoring & Diagnostics and Emergency Care.

David Edwards is the Sales Director of Ambu Ltd and has been with the company for 15 years.