To evaluate whether endotracheal intubation in patients with cervical spine immobilisation by a semirigid neck collar is easier using the Disposcope endoscope (DE), a new video laryngoscope, than with the Macintosh laryngoscope (ML).Methods
Sixty-eight medical interns who participated in a training programme for endotracheal intubation using the DE and ML were recruited to the randomised crossover trial 1 week after completing the training programme. In the trial, they used both the DE and the ML to perform intubation on a manikin wearing a semirigid neck collar. The time required to view the vocal cords and to complete intubation, successful endotracheal intubation, modified Cormack–Lehane classification (CL grade) and dental injury were recorded and analysed.Results
The mean (SD) time to view the vocal cords was significantly shorter with the DE than with the ML (10.0 (7.0) vs 20.8 (18.9) s; p<0.0001). There were higher rates of CL grades 1 and 2a (69.1% and 22.1%) using the DE than with the ML (10.3% and 14.7%). All 68 participants had a higher rate of successful endotracheal intubation using the DE than using the ML (68 (100%) vs 47 (69.1%); p<0.0001). It took less time to complete endotracheal intubation with the DE than with the ML (p<0.0001).Conclusions
In patients with cervical spine immobilisation by a semirigid neck collar, the DE may be a more effective device for endotracheal intubation than the ML.