Critical Factors in Planning a Pediatric Prehospital Airway Trial

Prehosp Emerg Care. 2022 Jul-Aug;26(4):476-483. doi: 10.1080/10903127.2021.1918808. Epub 2021 Jun 1.


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess factors influencing the design of a pediatric prehospital airway management trial, including minimum clinically significant differences for three clinical subgroups. Methods: We conducted a virtual consensus-conference among U.S. emergency medical services (EMS) agency medical directors and researchers in the Fall of 2020. This included (1) a preconference survey, (2) an interactive live videoconference, and (3) a postconference survey. Participants were identified through co-investigator relationships and by surveying "The Eagles," a consortium of medical directors from large urban EMS systems and, subsequently, through follow up email contact based on survey responses. Results: Twenty-seven of the 34 (80%) EMS agencies we invited responded to the prewebinar survey. Of the 27 agencies, 27 (100%) use BMV, 19 (70%) use endotracheal intubation (ETI), 21 (78%) use supraglottic airways (SGA). SGA use included 14 (52%) who use the iGel, 8 (30%) who use the King laryngeal tube (LT), and 2 (7%) who use a laryngeal mask airway (LMA). Three agencies use more than one of the available SGAs. Twenty (74%) of the EMS agencies indicated they had access to an SGA suitable for pediatric patients, and 9 (33%) agencies have access to pediatric video laryngoscopy. The majority of agencies indicated that the minimum clinically significant difference for survival to change practice was 1% for cardiac arrest patients with a baseline survival assumption of 7%, 4% for respiratory failure with a baseline survival assumption of 73%, and 3% for trauma with a baseline survival assumption of 42%. Overall, these agencies responded that BVM vs. SGA is the most important comparison that would change their practice. Conclusions: This virtual consensus conference provided a new perspective on current airway management practice and identified specific factors likely to drive change in pediatric prehospital airway management. This information will be leveraged in future trial design to ensure impactful clinical trials.

Keywords: EMS for children; pediatric airway management; pediatric prehospital care.

MeSH terms

  • Airway Management
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Laryngeal Masks*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency*