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Direct and indirect low skill fibre-optic intubation: A randomised crossover manikin study of six supraglottic airway devices

Sau Yee Chow, Yan Ru Tan, Theodore Gar Ling Wong, Vui Kian Ho, Abey Matthew Matthews, Hui Hua Li, Patrick Wong
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia 2018, 62 (5): 350-358

Background and Aims: Fibre-optic intubation (FOI) through supraglottic airway devices (SADs) is useful in the management of the difficult airway. We compared two methods of FOI through seven SADs in a randomised crossover manikin study to assess each device's performance and discuss implications on SAD selection.

Methods: Thirty anaesthetsiologists, 15 seniors and 15 juniors, each performed low skill FOI (LSFOI) with seven SADs using both 'direct' and 'indirect' methods. The order of method and device used were randomised. The primary end point was success rate of intubation; secondary end points were time taken for intubation, incidence of difficulties with direct and indirect LSFOI and operator device preference. Statistical analysis was with univariable analysis and comparison of proportions.

Results: Data from six devices were analysed due to a protocol breach with one SAD. There was no difference in intubation success rate across all SADs and intubation methods. Intubation time was significantly shorter in AmbuAuragain than other SADs and shorter with the direct method of LSFOI than the indirect method (mean difference of 6.9 s, P = 0.027). Ambu Auragain had the least SAD and bronchoscope-related difficulties. Seniors had significantly shorter mean intubation times than juniors by 11.6 s ( P = 0.0392). The most preferred SAD for both methods was AmbuAuragain.

Conclusion: Low skill FOI consistently achieves a high intubation success rate regardless of experience, choice of method, or SAD used. SAD design features may significantly affect the performance of low skill FOI.


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