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Comparison of intubation modalities in a simulated cardiac arrest with uninterrupted chest compressions
  1. Navin Tandon1,
  2. Matthew McCarthy1,2,
  3. Brett Forehand1,2,
  4. Jestin N Carlson1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine, Saint Vincent Health System, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Jestin Carlson, Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine, Saint Vincent Health Center, 232 West 25th St, Erie, PA 16544, USA; jcarlson{at} and Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 3600 Forbes Ave, Suite 400A Iroquois Bldg, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA; carlsonjn{at}


Background Interruptions in chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation can negatively impact survival. Several new endotracheal intubation (ETI) techniques including video laryngoscopy may allow for ETI with minimal or no interruptions in chest compressions. We sought to determine the impact of three different ETI techniques upon time to intubation (TTI) in a simulated cardiac arrest during uninterrupted chest compression.

Methods We performed a randomised crossover study with a convenience sample of emergency physicians using three different ETI techniques: direct laryngoscopy (DL), GlideScope video laryngoscopy (GVL) and GlideScope video laryngoscopy with bougie (GVL-B). Providers performed ETI on a manikin on a hospital bed with concurrent chest compressions. Our primary outcome, TTI, was defined as the time from insertion of the laryngoscope blade until first breath. Given the correlated nature of the data, we used the paired t test to assess the differences in mean TTIs between GVL minus DL and GVL-B minus DL. We also ran the analysis stratified by provider experience.

Results We enrolled 20 providers with a median TTI (IQR) by device of: DL 27 s (20.3, 35.4), GVL 20.6 s (17.7, 27.1) and GVL-B 60.1 s (39.1, 99). The mean GVL—DL difference was −10.1 s (−17.9–2.3) while the mean GVL-B—DL difference was 45.6 s (19.8–71.4) (p<0.001). The GVL-B required the greatest TTI across providers of varying experience levels.

Conclusions In this simulated model of cardiac arrest with uninterrupted chest compressions, TTI was shorter for GVL than DL while use of the GVL with bougie resulted in longer TTI.

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