Introduction: Teaching endotracheal intubation to medical students is a task provided by many academic anesthesia departments. We tested the hypothesis that teaching with a novel videolaryngoscope improves students' intubation skills.
Methods: We prospectively assessed in medical students (2nd clinical year) intubation skills acquired by intubation attempts in adult anesthetized patients during a 60-hour clinical course using, in a randomized fashion, either a conventional Macintosh blade laryngoscope or a videolaryngoscope (C-MAC®). The latter permits direct laryngoscopy with a Macintosh blade and provides a color image on a video screen. Skills were measured before and after the course in a standardized fashion (METI Emergency Care Simulator) using a conventional laryngoscope. All 1-semester medical students (n = 93) were enrolled.
Results: The students' performance did not significantly differ between groups before the course. After the course, students trained with the videolaryngoscope had an intubation success rate on a manikin 19% higher (95% CI 1.1%-35.3%; P < 0.001) and intubated 11 seconds faster (95% CI 4-18) when compared with those trained using a conventional laryngoscope. The incidence of "difficult (manikin) laryngoscopy" was less frequent in the group trained with the videolaryngoscope (8% vs 34%; P = 0.005).
Conclusion: Education using a video system mounted into a traditional Macintosh blade improves intubation skills in medical students.