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Stylet Shaping 101

nextgen learning to elevate your airway practice
Rapid ReviewDive Deeper
What’s NextTo ET Tubes


Stylets assist with tube delivery. In head to head comparisons of intubations with and without stylets, stylets are the winner and will likely improve your first pass success. Yes, there are other tube delivery or tracheal access devices out there: bougie’s and other next generation tube introducers are evolving and changing our thinking on the best way to deliver that tube, but for now stylets are standard operating procedure for most clinicians.

Despite the ubiquitous nature of stylets, they are often overlooked as an airway tool independently, with unique features and best practices. So we decided to cover them here for you. Take a moment to review this content, then head over to one of our self-guided practice installations for some hands on training.

Rapid Review

Optimal stylet shaping

Real time too slow for you? Only have a few minutes on your break for some learning? Just need a quick hit refresher? Watch this first! We give you learning here in under a minute Then, when you have time scroll down for all the rest.

Stylet Shaping

THe essentials

Time to get into it and learn how to shape that tube with the straight to cuff technique. This is our go to shaping style and we will show you the details of how to do it right.

Stylet Shaping explained

Now let’s take a look at why this tube shaping technique using a stylet is so important, and how it will help you during laryngoscopy to deliver that tube and improve your first pass success.

Curated MedEd

Don’t obscure your view!

Tubes are just big floppy pieces of soft plastic. Great for gas exchange, but by themselves are difficult to place. Plenty of evidence exists to tell us that first pass success rates go up if you use a stylet.

Maintaining a view of the larynx during tube delivery is important and requires some technique. Straight-to-cuff stylet shaping prevents the tube from obscuring your view of the larynx while it is being inserted. Watch this video by Dr. Levitan. Another great airway network builder.

Build Your EBM learning network

Looking for evidence based FOAM resources? We like The Bottom Line as another way to build your learning network. Check out this post on the STYLETO trial and evidence that stylets can improve your first pass success.

What’s Next


When you’re ready, it’s time to head to the next poster shown here to continue the journey through this space.

Online Only

If you can’t be with us in person, you can still use this enhanced digital content as an online course. Visit the digital home page of this learning space by using the link below. Otherwise, head to the next poster above to continue through the physical learning space.

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