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Am J Emerg Med. 2005 Jul;23(4):552-5.

Use of gum elastic bougie for prehospital difficult intubation.

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Service d'Aide Médicale Urgente of Henri Mondor Hospital, Créteil 94100, France.


The objective of this study was to assess effectiveness of gum elastic bougie (GEB) in case of difficult intubation occurring in the prehospital settings. After manikin training to GEB handling, physicians were recommended to use GEB as first alternative technique in case of difficult intubation. Intubating conditions and details of patients requiring GEB-assisted laryngoscopy were recorded over 30 months. Among the 1442 extrahospital intubations performed, 41 patients (3%) required GEB. Gum elastic bougie allowed successful intubation in 33 cases (78%) and 8 patients sustained a second alternative technique. One patient was never intubated, another 1 required rescue cricothyroidotomy. Twenty-four (60%) GEB patients had associated factors for difficult intubation such as reduced or limited cervical spine mobility, morbid obesity, cervicofacial trauma, and ears, nose, and throat neoplasia. The success rate of GEB was 75% and 94%, respectively, depending on whether associated factors for difficult intubation are present or not. No adverse events associated to GEB use were noted.

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