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Tanigawa K, Shigematsu A.
Choice of airway devices for 12,020 cases of nontraumatic cardiac arrest in Japan. - Prehosp Emerg Care. 1998 Apr-Jun;2(2):96-100.
OBJECTIVE: This retrospective study was designed to determine the choice of airway devices used for
nontraumatic, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients and to evaluate the success and failure of insertion and
airway control/ventilation by three airway adjuncts, the Combitube, the esophageal gastric tube airway
(EGTA), and the laryngeal mask (LM), which were used in conjunction with the bag-valve-mask (BVM) by
emergency life-saving technicians (ELSTs) in Japan. METHODS: A survey of 1,085 ELSTs was
performed to identify the type of airway devices, the success rates of airway insertion, the effectiveness of
airway control/ventilation in comparison with the BVM prior to each airway insertion, and associated
complications. The type of education for airway skills was also surveyed. RESULTS: 1,079 surveys were
returned and 12,020 cases of cardiac arrest were studied. Choice of airway devices: BVM, 7,180 cases;
EGTA, 545 cases; Combitube, 1,594 cases; and LM, 2,701 cases. Successful insertion rates on the first
attempt: EGTA, 82.7%; Combitube, 82.4%; and LM, 72.5% (p < 0.0001). Failed insertions: EGTA,
8.2%; Combitube, 6.9%; and LM, 10.5% (p < 0.0001). Successful ventilation: EGTA, 71.0%;
Combitube, 78.9%; and LM, 71.5% (p < 0.0004). Six cases of aspiration were reported in the LM group,
whereas nine cases of soft-tissue injuries, including esophageal perforation, were reported in the Combitube
group. 17.8% had vomited either prior or during airway placement. CONCLUSION: The Combitube
appears to be the most appropriate choice among the airway devices examined. However, serious injuries to
the tissues, though they rarely occurred in the study, remain a major concern.
PMID: 9709326, UI: 98374988
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