Influence of airway management strategy on "no-flow-time" during an "advanced life support course" for intensive care nurses - a single rescuer resuscitation manikin study

Christoph H R Wiese, Utz Bartels, Alexander Schultens, Tobias Steffen, Andreas Torney, Jan Bahr, Bernhard M Graf
BMC Emergency Medicine 2008, 8: 4

BACKGROUND: In 1999, the laryngeal tube (VBM Medizintechnik, Sulz, Germany) was introduced as a new supraglottic airway. It was designed to allow either spontaneous breathing or controlled ventilation during anaesthesia; additionally it may serve as an alternative to endotracheal intubation, or bag-mask ventilation during resuscitation. Several variations of this supraglottic airway exist. In our study, we compared ventilation with the laryngeal tube suction for single use (LTS-D) and a bag-mask device. One of the main points of the revised ERC 2005 guidelines is a low no-flow-time (NFT). The NFT is defined as the time during which no chest compression occurs. Traditionally during the first few minutes of resuscitation NFT is very high. We evaluated the hypothesis that utilization of the LTS-D could reduce the NFT compared to bag-mask ventilation (BMV) during simulated cardiac arrest in a single rescuer manikin study.

METHODS: Participants were studied during a one day advanced life support (ALS) course. Two scenarios of arrhythmias requiring defibrillation were simulated in a manikin. One scenario required subjects to establish the airway with a LTS-D; alternatively, the second scenario required them to use BMV. The scenario duration was 430 seconds for the LTS-D scenario, and 420 seconds for the BMV scenario, respectively. Experienced ICU nurses were recruited as study subjects. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two groups first (LTS-D and BMV) to establish the airway. Endpoints were the total NFT during the scenario, the successful airway management using the respective device, and participants' preference of one of the two strategies for airway management.

RESULTS: Utilization of the LTS-D reduced NFT significantly (p < 0.01). Adherence to the time frame of ERC guidelines was 96% in the LTS-D group versus 30% in the BMV group. Two participants in the LTS-D group required more than one attempt to establish the LTS-D correctly. Once established, ventilation was effective in 100%. In a subjective evaluation all participants preferred the LTS-D over BMV to provide ventilation in a cardiac arrest scenario.

CONCLUSION: In our manikin study, NFT was reduced significantly when using LTS-D compared to BMV. During cardiac arrest, the LTS-D might be a good alternative to BMV for providing and maintaining a patent airway. For personnel not experienced in endotracheal intubation it seems to be a safe airway device in a manikin use.

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