Summary In the previous and the current guidelines of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC), endotracheal intubation (ETI), as an instrument for ventilation during resuscitation, was confirmed as less important for paramedics not trained in this method. For those, during resuscitation, the laryngeal tube is recommended by the ERC as a supraglottic airway device. The present study investigated prospectively the use of the laryngeal tube disposable (LT-D) by paramedics in prehospital emergency cases.
Methods During a 42-month period (Sept 2008–Feb 2012), we prospectively registered all prehospital cardiac arrest situations in which the LT-D had been applied by paramedics (from one emergency medical service in Germany).
Results During the defined period, 133 attempts, recorded on standardised data sheets, were enrolled into the investigation. Three were excluded from the study because of use during a trauma situation. Therefore, 130 patients were evaluated in this study. For this, the LT-D was used in 98% of all cases during resuscitation, and in about 2% of other emergencies (eg, trauma). With regard to resuscitation, adequate ventilation/oxygenation was described as possible in 83% of all included cases. In 66% of all cases, no problems concerning the insertion of the LT-D were described by the paramedics. No significant problems were reported in 93%. In 7% (n=9 cases), no insertion of the LT-D was possible. Instead of bag-mask-valve ventilation, the LT-D was used as a first-line airway device in about 66%. Between the two defined groups, no statistically significant differences were found (p>0.05).
Conclusions As an alternative airway device during resuscitation, recommended by the ERC in 2005 and 2010, the LT-D may enable ventilation rapidly and, as in most of our described cases, effectively. Additionally, by using the LT-D in a case of cardiac arrest, a reduced ‘hands-off time’ and, therefore, a high chest compression rate may be possible. Our investigation showed that the LT-D was often used as an alternative to bag-mask-ventilation and to ETI as well. However, we were able to describe more problems in the use of the LT-D than earlier investigations. Therefore, in future, more studies concerning the use of alternative airway devices in comparison with ETI and/or video-laryngoscopy seem to be necessary.
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