Educating anesthesiology residents to perform percutaneous cricothyrotomy, retrograde intubation, and fiberoptic bronchoscopy using preserved cadavers

Anesth Analg. 2006 Nov;103(5):1205-8. doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000237328.94837.62.


Experience with invasive airway procedures may be difficult to obtain during residency training, and anesthesiologists may therefore be hesitant to use these life-saving techniques. We designed a prospective study to determine whether using embalmed cadavers to teach percutaneous cricothyrotomy (PC), retrograde intubation (RI), and fiberoptic intubation to anesthesiology residents would improve their perceived procedural confidence and ability. After demonstration of these techniques by experienced attending physicians, residents were allowed to practice, with instructor guidance, on the cadavers. Residents completed surveys before and after the workshop about their perceived confidence using these techniques. Eighteen residents attended the lecture workshop and completed surveys. The number of residents who reported that they would use PC increased from 0% to 78% (P <or= 0.001) and those who reported they could correctly perform PC technique increased from 17% to 94% (P <or= 0.001). Likewise, the number of residents who reported they would use RI increased from 6% to 67% (P <or= 0.001) and those who reported they could correctly perform RI technique increased from 28% to 83% (P <or= 0.001). There were no significant changes in residents' confidence with fiberoptic intubation. The results of this study demonstrate an improvement in the confidence of anesthesiology residents in performing PC and RI after training using embalmed cadavers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Anesthesiology / methods
  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Cadaver
  • Education / methods
  • Fiber Optic Technology / instrumentation
  • Fiber Optic Technology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Teaching / methods