The Miller laryngoscope is a straight blade designed to obtain a view of the vocal cords by directly lifting the epiglottis. It has useful application in ‘floppy’ airways making it popular within paediatric anaesthesia
By 1941, when Robert Arden Miller created his blade, most specialist anaesthetists were familiar with the advantages of endotracheal intubation, especially since the widespread use of closed-circuit cyclopropane anaesthesia.
Miller’s contribution was to make changes to pre-existing blades to make endotracheal intubation more certain.
Miller recommended the use of a stylet rather than forceps when inserting larger, cuffed tubes using a Miller blade, as the mouth did not open as widely.
Miller designed his blade by making it straight and longer than the old style medium blade, rounded at the bottom and smaller at the tip with an extra curve two inches from the end. This made difficult intubations easier to perform and minimised dental trauma.
- Robert Arden Miller (1906–1976)
- The Miller blade
- Miller RA. A new laryngoscope. Anesthesiology 1941;2:317-20. [PDF]
- Miller RA. A new laryngoscope for intubation of infants. Anesthesiology. 1946;7:205. [PMID 21023368] [PDF]
- Miller RA. The development of the laryngoscope. Anaesthesist. 1972;21(3):145-147. [PMID 4553793]
- Giuca MS, Desai SP. Eponyms in the operating room: careers of five American physicians. Bull Anesth Hist. 2013 Oct;31(2):32-5, 39. [PMID 24195165] [Full Text]