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Anaesthesia. 2016 Aug;71(8):908-14. doi: 10.1111/anae.13516. Epub 2016 May 27.

A randomised clinical trial comparing the flexible fibrescope and the Pentax Airway Scope (AWS)(®) for awake oral tracheal intubation.

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Department of Anaesthesia, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK.
Department of Anaesthesia, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
Department of Anaesthesia, Heart of England Foundation NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK.


We compared awake fibreoptic intubation with awake intubation using the Pentax Airway Scope(®) in 40 adult patients. Sedation was achieved using a target-controlled remifentanil infusion of 1-5 and midazolam. The airway was anaesthetised with lidocaine spray and gargle. The total procedure time - a composite of sedation time, topical anaesthesia time and intubation time - was recorded. The operator's impression of the ease of the procedure and the patients' reported comfort were recorded on a 0-100 mm visual analogue scale. The median (IQR [range]) for total procedure time was 900 (739-1059 [616-1215]) s with the fibrescope and 651 (601-720 [498-900]) s with the Pentax Airway Scope (p = 0.0001). The median (IQR [range]) intubation time was 420 (283-480 [120-608]) s with the fibrescope and 183 (144-220 [107-420]) s with the Pentax Airway Scope (p = 0.0002). The median (IQR [range]) visual analogue scores for the operator's ease of intubation for the fibrescope and Pentax Airway Scope were 83.6 (72.0-98.0 [49.0-100.0]) and 86.8 (84.0-91.0 [61.0-100.0]), respectively (p = 0.3507). The median (IQR [range]) visual analogue score for patient comfort was 85.5 (81.0-97.0 [69.0-100.0]) and 79.4 (74.0-85.0 [59.0-100.0]) for the fibrescope and Pentax Airway Scope, respectively (p = 0.06). Total procedure time was significantly shorter with the Pentax Airway Scope compared with the fibrescope, with no difference in procedure difficulty or patient discomfort.


awake intubation; fibreoptic intubation; videolaryngoscopy

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