Randomized Trial of Video Laryngoscopy for Endotracheal Intubation of Critically Ill Adults*

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the effect of video laryngoscopy on the rate of endotracheal intubation on first laryngoscopy attempt among critically ill adults.

Design:

A randomized, parallel-group, pragmatic trial of video compared with direct laryngoscopy for 150 adults undergoing endotracheal intubation by Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellows.

Setting:

Medical ICU in a tertiary, academic medical center.

Patients:

Critically ill patients 18 years old or older.

Interventions:

Patients were randomized 1:1 to video or direct laryngoscopy for the first attempt at endotracheal intubation.

Measurements and Main Results:

Patients assigned to video (n = 74) and direct (n = 76) laryngoscopy were similar at baseline. Despite better glottic visualization with video laryngoscopy, there was no difference in the primary outcome of intubation on the first laryngoscopy attempt (video 68.9% vs direct 65.8%; p = 0.68) in unadjusted analyses or after adjustment for the operator’s previous experience with the assigned device (odds ratio for video laryngoscopy on intubation on first attempt 2.02; 95% CI, 0.82–5.02, p = 0.12). Secondary outcomes of time to intubation, lowest arterial oxygen saturation, complications, and in-hospital mortality were not different between video and direct laryngoscopy.

Conclusions:

In critically ill adults undergoing endotracheal intubation, video laryngoscopy improves glottic visualization but does not appear to increase procedural success or decrease complications.

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