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Middle East J Anaesthesiol. 2012 Oct;21(6):843-50.

Videolaryngoscopic endotracheal intubation (GlideScope) of morbidly obese patients in semi-erect position: a comparison with rapid sequence induction in supine position.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.



In regards to peri-anesthetic morbidity considerations, morbidly obese patients often have full stomach for extended periods secondary to delayed gastric emptying. Additionally, they may have difficulty lying supine because of multiple reasons.


The purpose of the study was to compare endotracheal intubation of morbidly obese patients placed in semi-erect position with the rapid sequence induction in the supine position using GlideScope video laryngoscopy.


A prospective randomized study was conducted in ASA I-III patients aged 18-65 years who were scheduled for bariatric surgery. Group A (Study Group): General anesthesia was induced in the semi-erect position, and endotracheal intubation was performed by the investigator positioned in front of the patient. The GlideScope blade was held in the right hand of the investigator during intubation and endotracheal tube with rigid stylet was inserted using the left hand. Group B (Control Group): General anesthesia was induced and patient's trachea intubated in the standard supine position.


39 patients underwent endotracheal intubation in semi-erect position (Study Group) and 37 patients underwent endotracheal intubation in supine position (Control Group). No differences were observed in the intubation parameters or patient safety. Intubation times required to secure patients' airways were not significantly insignificant (p = 0.42) between the two groups; desaturation episodes occurred 50% less frequently (though insignificant p = 0.42) in the semierect group.


This is the first prospective study demonstrating endotracheal intubation with GlideScope in the semi-erect position as comparable to standard supine position intubation. Moreover, gravity-directed and aligned biomechanics in the semi-erect position may be ergonomically more efficient for intubating morbidly obese patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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