Comparison of Airway Intubation Devices When Using a Biohazard Suit: a Feasibility Study.

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OBJECTIVES: We set out to compare emergency medicine residents' intubating times and success rates for direct laryngoscopy (DL), GlideScope-assisted intubation (GS), and the Supraglottic Airway Laryngopharyngeal Tube (SALT) airway with and without biohazard gear.

METHODS: Each resident passed through 2 sets of 3 testing stations (DL, GS, SALT) in succession, intubating Laerdal mannequin heads with the 3 modalities after randomization to start with or without biohazard gear.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven residents participated, and 27 were male (73%); 14 (37.8%) had prior experience intubating in biohazard suits. There was a statistically significant difference in those who had prior intubation experience between DL (37, 100%), GS (32, 86.5%), and SALT (12, 32.4%) (P < .001) and in median time to intubation (48 seconds, no suit; 57 seconds, with suits) (P = .03). There was no statistically significant difference between the overall times to intubate for the 3 devices. First-pass success was highest for DL (91.2%, no suit; 83.7%, suit) followed by GS (89%, no suit; 78.3%, suit) and SALT (51%, no suit; 67.6%, suit).

CONCLUSION: A minority of participants had prior experience intubating in biohazard suits. Use of biohazard suits extends time to successful intubation. There was no difference in time to intubation for the 3 devices, but first-pass success was highest for DL (with or without biohazard gear).




Emergency Medicine




Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty

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