Emergency Airway Management in a Simulation of Highly Contagious Isolated Patients: Both Isolation Strategy and Device Type Matter.

Plazikowski, Eike Jan; Greif, Robert; Marschall, Jonas; Pedersen, Tina Heidi; Kleine-Brüggeney, Maren; Albrecht, Roland; Theiler, Lorenz (2018). Emergency Airway Management in a Simulation of Highly Contagious Isolated Patients: Both Isolation Strategy and Device Type Matter. Infection control and hospital epidemiology, 39(2), pp. 145-151. SLACK 10.1017/ice.2017.287

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OBJECTIVE To compare 6 airway-management devices in 3 isolation scenarios regarding their effect on airway management: portable isolation unit (PIU), personal protective equipment (PPE), and standard protection measures METHODS In total, 30 anesthesiologists working in emergency medical services performed airway management on mannequins in 3 isolation settings using 6 different airway management devices (in random order): (1) standard Macintosh laryngoscope; (2) Airtraq SP-video-laryngoscope; (3) i-gel; (4) LMA-Fastrach; (5) Ambu fiberoptic-aScope; and (6) Melker cricothyrotomy-set. Each was assessed regarding time-to-ventilate (primary outcome) and rating of difficulty handling the device. RESULTS In 86% (standard protection) and 85% (PPE) of attempts, airway management was achieved in <60 seconds, irrespective of the device used. In the PIU setting, only 69% of attempts succeeded within this time frame (P<.05). Median time-to-ventilate was shorter for standard protection (23 seconds) and PPE (25 seconds) compared to the PIU (38 seconds; P<.001). In the PIU setting, the fiberscope took the longest (median, 170 seconds), while i-gel was the quickest (median, 13 seconds). The rating of difficulty (visual analogue scale [VAS], 0-100) differed significantly between the isolation scenarios: Airway management was most difficult with PIU (VAS, 76), followed by PPE (VAS, 35), and standard protection (VAS, 9) (P<.01). CONCLUSION Wearing PPE produced similar times-to-ventilate as standard protection among anesthesiologists, but it was subjectively rated more difficult. The portable isolation unit permitted acceptable times-to-ventilate when excluding fiberscope and cricothyrotomy. Supraglottic airway devices allowed the fastest airway management in all isolation scenarios, thus being highly recommendable if a portable isolation unit is used and emergency airway management becomes necessary. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018;39:145-151.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Plazikowski, Eike Jan, Greif, Robert, Marschall, Jonas, Pedersen, Tina Heidi, Kleine-Brüggeney, Maren, Theiler, Lorenz


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

24 Apr 2018 14:15

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:10

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