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GlideScope in the emergency department

Report by: Zaffer Qasim, Specialty Registrar Emergency Medicine

Search checked by: Janos P Baombe, Senior Emergency Trainee

Institution: Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK

A short-cut review was carried out to establish whether the Glidescope videolaryngoscope improves the success rate of intubation of adult patients in the emergency department (ED). Three papers were directly relevant to the question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. The clinical bottom line is that this videolaryngoscope does not improve the success rate for ‘routine’ intubation of adults in the ED. It may play a role in the management of the ‘difficult airway’.

Three-part question

In [adults requiring emergency department intubation] does the [use of the GlideScope videolaryngoscope] improve the [success rate of intubation]?

Clinical scenario

A 34-year-old patient presents to the ED with altered level of consciousness from a suspected intracranial bleed. The decision is made to intubate him. You predict a difficult airway. As you gather your equipment, you wonder whether use of a new GlideScope device will help achieve better success at intubation as opposed to traditional direct laryngoscopy.

Search strategy

Medline (1966–5/2010) using the OVID interface. ({glidescope.mp} AND {exp intubation/OR intubation.mp OR intubat$.mp} AND {exp laryngoscopy/OR laryngoscopy.mp OR laryngoscop$.mp}) Limits: English language; human …

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