Comparison of two mechanical intraosseous infusion devices: a pilot, randomized crossover trial

Itai Shavit, Yoav Hoffmann, Roger Galbraith, Yehezkel Waisman
Resuscitation 2009, 80 (9): 1029-33

INTRODUCTION: Administration of medications via the intraosseous (IO) route has proven to be a lifesaving procedure in critically ill or injured children. Two mechanical IO infusion devices have been approved for use in children, the spring-loaded IO infusion device (Bone Injection Gun, BIG) and the battery-powered IO infusion drill (EZ-IO). The objective of this pilot study was to compare the success rates for insertion and the ease-of-use of the two devices.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A randomized crossover study was conducted in a local paramedic training course with 29 paramedic students participating. Participants watched two videos describing the use of the two devices, followed by a demonstration on how to use each device on a turkey bone model. Then subjects were divided into two study groups: BIG-first or EZ-IO-first. Each participant performed one insertion attempt with each device independently. All attempts were filmed by a video camera. Successful placement was defined as the visualization of fluid flow from the marrow cavity. Following the study procedure, participants completed a two-item questionnaire recording their ranking of the ease-of-use of each device and their "first choice device".

RESULTS: Participants had a significantly higher one-attempt success rate with the EZ-IO than with the BIG (28/29 vs 19/29, p=0.016), and selected the EZ-IO as their first choice (20/29). Participants of the EZ-IO-first group assessed the EZ-IO as easier to use than the BIG (p=0.0039). The subjects of the BIG-first group found no difference in the ease-of-use between the two devices (p=0.32).

CONCLUSIONS: As tested by paramedic students on a turkey bone model, the EZ-IO demonstrated higher success rates than the BIG and was the preferred device. Future studies are planned to determine which of the two devices is more appropriate for obtaining IO access in the setting of paediatric emergencies.

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