Mirror laryngoscopy




Equipment Needed

  • Head lamp or assistant with mobile light source
  • Mirror


  • Patient should sit with head in sniffing position
  • Warm mirror with water to prevent fogging
  • Grasp tongue with non-dominant hand, use middle finger to lift upper lip
  • Insert mirror parallel to tongue and lift cephalad against uvula/soft palate until larynx is seen
  • Topical anesthetic such as benzocaine or lidocaine 4% may help
  • Have patient phonate with a high pitched voice ("eeee") to move epiglottis and to visualize cord function [1]


  • Inability to complete due to gag reflex
  • Traumatic abrasions or bleeding
  • Laryngospasm if paraglottic infection

See Also

External Links


  1. Riviello R. Otolaryngologic Procedures. In: Roberts and Hedges' Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2014.