Video laryngoscopy vs. direct laryngoscopy: Which should be chosen for endotracheal intubation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation? A prospective randomized controlled study of experienced intubators

Resuscitation. 2016 Aug;105:196-202. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Apr 16.


Aim: This study compared endotracheal intubation (ETI) performance during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) between direct laryngoscopy (DL) and video laryngoscopy (VL) (GlideScope(®)) by experienced intubators (>50 successful ETIs).

Methods: This was a prospective randomized controlled study conducted in an emergency department between 2011 and 2013. Intubators who used DL or VL were randomly allocated to ETI during CPR. Data were collected from recorded video clips and rhythm sheets. The success, speed, complications, and chest compressions interruption were compared between the two devices.

Results: Total 140 ETIs by experienced intubators using DL (n=69) and VL (n=71) were analysed. There were no significant differences between DL and VL in the ETI success rate (92.8% vs. 95.8%; p=0.490), first-attempt success rate (87.0% vs. 94.4%; p=0.204), and median time to complete ETI (51 [36-67] vs. 42 [34-62]s; p=0.143). In both groups, oesophageal intubation and dental injuries seldom occurred. However, longer chest compressions interruption occurred using DL (4.0 [1.0-11.0]s) compared with VL (0.0 [0.0-1.0]s) and frequent serious no-flow (interruption>10s) occurred with DL (18/69 [26.1%]) compared with VL (0/71) (p<0.001). For highly experienced intubators (>80 successful ETIs), frequent serious no-flow occurred in DL (14/55 [25.5%] vs. 0/57 in VL).

Conclusions: The ETI success, speed and complications during CPR did not differ significantly between the two devices for experienced intubators. However, the VL was superior in terms of completion of ETI without chest compression interruptions.

Trial registration: Clinical Research Information Service (CRIS) in South Korea KCT0000849.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Chest compression interruption; Direct laryngoscopy; Endotracheal intubation; Experienced intubator; Video laryngoscopy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / statistics & numerical data
  • Clinical Competence
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Laryngoscopy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / epidemiology
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Video Recording