JOURNAL ARTICLE

The Airtraq Optical Laryngoscope in helicopter emergency medical services: a pilot trial

Christopher S Russi, Lucas A Myers, Logan J Kolb, Bruce W Goodman, Kathleen S Berns
Air Medical Journal 2013, 32 (2): 88-92
23452367

OBJECTIVE: To determine the degree of success helicopter emergency medical services personnel have in placing an endotracheal tube using a relatively new device for endotracheal intubation (ETI) known as the Airtraq (AT) Optical Laryngoscope (King Systems Corp, Noblesville, IN), and to determine the frequency with which flight crews had to resort to other means for advanced airway management.

METHODS: This prospective, observational pilot trial evaluated the critical care flight team's ability to perform ETI using the AT as a first-line device in the prehospital setting. Flight crews were instructed to use the AT for any patient needing ETI. Teams completed a 30-minute training session followed by mannequin practice. They documented situations and outcomes: reason for ETI, success in placing the AT, reason for unsuccessful placement, end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration in expired air (ETCO2), and where patients were when they underwent intubation (field, ambulance, aircraft, hospital). Data were abstracted and analyzed using JMP software version 7.0 (SAS Institute, Inc, Cary, NC).

RESULTS: Fifty cases involving use of the AT were analyzed. Median patient age was 51.5 years (range, 15-90; interquartile range, 36-64.5). Most patients were male (n = 37 [74%]). The primary reasons for intubation were unresponsiveness and altered loss of consciousness (n = 23 [46%]), respiratory distress or apnea (n = 8 [16%]), cardiac arrest (n = 10 [20%]), and combative behavior (n = 7 [14%]). AT was successful (n = 31[62%]) in 1 to 2 attempts. The primary reason for AT failure was blood or vomit in the airway (n = 8 [42.1%]); 48.1% (n = 25) of patients required a different management mode.

CONCLUSIONS: HEMS crews had difficulty placing successful ET tubes with this device after minimal education with a single regular-sized device. Difficulty was pronounced when blood or vomit was present and obstructing the optical view. Further study is needed to evaluate the implementation time, training time required, and possible design advantages of the AT compared with those of traditional emergent airway management techniques.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
23452367
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"