Comparison of 2 techniques of laryngeal tube exchange in a randomized controlled simulation study


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Abstract

Background:Laryngeal tubes (LT) are often used as rescue airway devices. Among prehospital medical personnel, the success rates are high and significantly faster compared to an endotracheal tube (ETT). Therefore, LTs are increasingly used in the prehospital setting. The exchange of an LT for an ETT may often be desirable. Two fiberoptic bronchoscope–facilitated techniques have been described to exchange an LT for an ETT: an intraluminal technique using an Aintree intubating catheter and an extraluminal technique using a nasal route alongside the LT. In this randomized cross-over mannequin study, we compared the intraluminal with the extraluminal exchange technique. The primary outcome was time to achieve an effective airway through an ETT. We hypothesized that the intraluminal technique would be significantly faster.Methods:Thirty anesthesia providers were recruited to the study. Each participant attempted both techniques in an intubation simulation model. The tube exchange time was recorded from picking up the fiberoptic bronchoscope until confirmation of ventilation with the ETT.Results:Four participants in each group had a failed attempt at intubation. Time to establish an endotracheal intubation was significantly shorter with the intraluminal technique vs the extraluminal technique (77.5 vs 140 seconds; P = .03).Conclusion:Based on the results of our study, we suggest that the intraluminal technique may be a suitable alternative for a fiberoptic-guided rapid exchange of an LT for an ETT to establish an effective airway in a challenging situation.

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