Comparison of the Skill of Emergency Medical Technicians in Terms of Advanced Airway Management Using Endotracheal Tube versus Laryngeal Mask Airway in an OSCE Using a Mannequin
Background: Supraglottic airway management tools such as the laryngeal mask airway (LMA) have recently emerged as the first choice in pre-hospital and hospital airway management guidelines as well as an alternative strategy after endotracheal tube (ETT) placement failure. However, the pros and cons of the LMA compared to endotracheal intubation are still debated.
Given that no study has been conducted to date on the skills of emergency medical technician (EMT) in airway management using LMA compared to endotracheal intubation, we decided to do a study in this regard.
Methods: In this objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), EMTs who had a degree of associate or bachelor were participated. The examiner asked the examinees the required information and entered it in the pre-prepared checklists. The participants took part in a two-stage exam. In the first stage, the airway management of the simulated trauma patient was performed by endotracheal intubation, and in the second stage, the same scenario was performed with LMA. At each stage, the examiner evaluated the examinee's performance in 4 fields of Preparation, Pre-oxygenation, Position and Placement, and Post-intubation management using a standard checklist. In addition, the duration of the procedure from the beginning to the time of fixing the ETT or LMA was recorded and compared.
Results: Totally, 105 EMTs participated in this study, of whom, 102 were male (97.1%). The mean age of the subjects was 36.4± 7.3 years old. Of the total participants, 72 passed both practical exams successfully, and they generally insert the LMA faster; so that the duration of intubation and LMA insertion in 1.4% and 30.6% were <1 min, respectively (p< 0.001). However, no significant difference was observed in terms of the mean time (p= 0.427).
Conclusion: In the present study, the skills of the technicians participating in the study in performing advanced airway procedures were moderate, and also, it was found that their skills in LMA insertion were less than endotracheal tube insertion.
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