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Preliminary Report: Comparing Aspiration Rates between Prehospital Patients Managed with Extraglottic Airway Devices and Endotracheal Intubation

Michael T Steuerwald, Darren A Braude, Timothy R Petersen, Kari Peterson, Michael A Torres
Air Medical Journal 2018, 37 (4): 240-243

INTRODUCTION: There has been a shift from endotracheal intubation (ETI) toward extraglottic devices (EGDs) for prehospital airway management. A concern exists that this may lead to more frequent cases of aspiration.

METHODS: This was a retrospective study using a prehospital quality assurance database. Patients were assigned to groups based on the method that ultimately managed their airways (EGD or ETI). Cases with documented blood/emesis obscuring the airway were considered inevitable aspiration cases and excluded. Aspiration was defined by the radiology report within 48 hours.

RESULTS: A total of 104 EGD and 152 ETI patients were identified. Aspiration data were available for 67 EGD and 94 ETI cases. Of those, 8 EGD and 3 ETI cases had blood/emesis obscuring the airway and were excluded as planned. After exclusions, there were 5 EGD and 11 ETI cases in which aspiration was later diagnosed (EGD aspiration rate = 8%, ETI aspiration rate = 12%; χ2 : P = .359; relative risk = .841; 95% confidence interval, .329-2.152).

CONCLUSION: In this small quality assurance database, aspiration rates were not significantly different for prehospital patients managed with an EGD versus ETI.


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