Comparison of blind intubation via supraglottic airway devices versus standard intubation during different airway emergency scenarios in inexperienced hand: Randomized, crossover manikin trial

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Background:Securing the airway and enabling adequate oxygenation and ventilation is essential during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The aim of the study was to evaluate the success rate of blind intubation via the I-Gel and the Air-Q compared with direct laryngoscopy guided endotracheal intubation by inexperienced physician and to measure time to successful intubation.Methods:The study was designed as a randomized, cross-over simulation study. A total of 134 physicians, from specialties other than Anesthesia or Emergency Medicine, who considered themselves skilled in endotracheal intubation but who have never used any kind of supraglottic airway device performed blind intubation via the I-Gel and Air-Q and direct laryngoscopy guided endotracheal intubation in 3 randomized scenarios: normal airway without chest compression during intubation attempt; normal airway with continuous chest compression during intubation attempt; difficult airway with continuous chest compression.Results:Scenario A: Success rate with initial intubation attempt was 72% for endotracheal intubation, 75% in Air-Q, and 81% in I-Gel. Time to endotracheal intubation and ease of intubation was comparable with all 3 airway devices used. Scenario B: Success rate with the initial intubation attempt was 42% for endotracheal intubation, compared with 75% in Air-Q and 80% in I-Gel. Time for endotracheal intubation was significantly prolonged in endotracheal intubation (42 seconds, 35–49), compared with Air-Q (21 seconds, 18–32) and I-Gel (19 seconds, 17–27). Scenario C: The success rate with the initial intubation attempt was 23% in endotracheal intubation, compared with 65% in Air-Q and 74% in I-Gel. Time to intubation was comparable with both supraglottic airway devices (20 vs 22 seconds) but was significantly shorter compared with endotracheal intubation (50 seconds, P < .001).Conclusions:Less to moderately experienced providers are able to perform endotracheal intubation in easy airways but fail during ongoing chest compressions and simulated difficult airway. Consequently, less to moderately experienced providers should refrain from endotracheal intubation during ongoing chest compressions during CPR and in expected difficult airways. Supraglottic airway devices are reliable alternatives and blind intubation through these devices is a valuable airway management strategy.

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