Background: Video laryngoscopy has, in recent years, become more available to emergency physicians. However, little research has been conducted to compare their success to conventional direct laryngoscopy.
Objectives: To compare the success rates of GlideScope(®) (Verathon Inc., Bothell, WA) videolaryngoscopy (GVL) with direct laryngoscopy (DL) for emergency department (ED) intubations.
Methods: This was a 24-month retrospective observational study of all patients intubated in a single academic ED with a level I trauma center. Structured data forms were completed after each intubation and entered into a continuous quality improvement database. All patients intubated in the ED with either the GlideScope(®) standard, Cobalt, Ranger, or traditional Macintosh or Miller laryngoscopes were included. All patients intubated before arrival were excluded. Primary analysis evaluated overall and first-attempt success rates, operator experience level, performance characteristics of GVL, complications, and reasons for failure.
Results: There were 943 patients intubated during the study period; 120 were excluded due to alternative management strategies. DL was used in 583 (62%) patients, and GVL in 360 (38%). GVL had higher first-attempt success (75%, p = 0.03); DL had a higher success rate when more than one attempt was required (57%, p = 0.003). The devices had statistically equivalent overall success rates. GVL had fewer esophageal intubations (n = 1) than DL (n = 18); p = 0.005.
Conclusion: The two techniques performed equivalently overall, however, GVL had a higher overall success rate, and lower number of esophageal complications. In the setting of ED intubations, GVL offers an excellent option to maximize first-attempt success for airway management.
Published by Elsevier Inc.