Background: Insertion of a nasopharyngeal airway by nurses is considered to be invasive. We compared the incidence and severity of nasal injury associated with nasopharyngeal airway insertion by trained nurses to those by anesthesiologists to determine the safety of inserting a nasopharyngeal airway by nurses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Methods: One hundred and sixteen male and 96 female patients scheduled for general anesthesia were included in the study. The male and female patients were randomly assigned to two groups respectively. Anesthesia was induced with sodium thiopental and fentanyl intravenously. The patients were then ventilated with a bag-valve-mask by trained nurses or anesthesiologists. In the unsuccessfully ventilated patients, nasopharyngeal airways were inserted to facilitate subsequent ventilation. The nasopharyngeal airway, oropharynx, and nostrils were then examined. The incidence and severity of nasal trauma induced by trained nurses or by anesthesiologists were compared.
Results: The study revealed that nasopharyngeal airways applied by trained nurses did not induce more severe nasal trauma than those by anesthesiologists.
Conclusion: We suggest that nasopharyngeal airways may be applied safely by trained nurses in CPR.