Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the frequency of first attempt success between basic life support (BLS) first responder initiated King LT-D placement and paramedic initiated endotracheal intubation (ETI) among patients experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA).
Methods: In 2009 a large, urban EMS agency modified their out-of-hospital, non-traumatic, cardiac arrest protocol from paramedic initiated ETI to first responder initiated King LT-D placement. This retrospective analysis of all adult, non-traumatic cardiac arrests occurred four months before and four months after protocol implementation. The outcome variable in this analysis was first attempt airway management success defined as placement of the device with end tidal CO(2) wave form or colorimetric color change, auscultation of bilateral breath sounds, and improved or normal pulse oximetry reading. The independent variable of interest was initial device utilized to secure the airway, King LT-D or ETI.
Results: There were 351 adult, non-traumatic OOHCAs with 184 patients (52.4%) enrolled during the ETI period and 167 (47.6%) during the King LT-D period. The frequency of first attempt success was 57.6% in the ETI group and 87.8% in the King LT-D group. Patients in the King LT-D group were significantly more likely to experience first attempt success versus standard ETI methods (OR 5.3; 95%CI 2.9-9.5).
Conclusion: In this analysis of OOHCA airway management, first attempt BLS King LT-D placement success exceeded that of first attempt paramedic ETI success. In addition, patients in the King LT-D group were more likely to have had an advanced airway attempted and to have had a successful advanced airway placed when multiple attempts were required.
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