Feasibility of a laryngeal tube for airway management during cardiac arrest by first responders

S Länkimäki, S Alahuhta, J Kurola
Resuscitation 2013, 84 (4): 446-9
Airway management is of major importance in prehospital emergency care. Bag-valve mask (BVM) ventilation and endotracheal intubation (ETI) have been shown to be difficult, especially when caregivers are inexperienced. Alternative methods have been studied, and supraglottic devices have been shown to provide reasonable ease of placement and effective ventilation in manikin studies and anaesthetised patients. First responders (FR) are employed by many emergency medical services (EMS) to shorten initiation of emergency care, and they are trained to provide basic CPR including BVM and use of automated external defibrillators (AED) in case of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OCHA). The aim of this research was to study the feasibility of manikin-trained FRs using a laryngeal tube (LT) as a primary airway method during cardiac arrest. We trained 300 FRs to use a LT during OHCA. The FRs used a LT in 64 OHCA cases. The LT was correctly placed on the first attempt in 46/64 cases (71.9%) and on the second attempt in 13/64 cases (20.3%). Insertion was reported as being easy in 55/64 cases (85.9%). Median insertion time was 23.1s, with a range of 3-240s. We found that after manikin training, the FRs inserted the LT and performed adequate ventilation with a reasonable success rate and insertion time.

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