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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1994;106(13):412-5.

[Comparison of the Combitube with the endotracheal tube in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the prehospital phase].

[Article in German]

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Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin I, Wien.


A prospective controlled study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of the Combitube, a combined endotracheal and esophageal obturator airway adjunct, in prehospital cardiac arrest patients. The Combitube and a standard endotracheal tube were utilized on alternate days as the initial airway of choice by paramedics. Of altogether 86 patients treated during the study period, intubation was possible in 80 cases, 38 receiving a Combitube as initial choice of airway. 11 out of 14 patients who could not be intubated with a standard endotracheal tube were then successfully managed with a Combitube. Survival following cardiac arrest after insertion of a Combitube was comparable to conventional endotracheal intubation. Of the 6 patients who survived 2 had received a Combitube, 2 a standard endotracheal tube and 2 an oropharyngeal tube. While visualized endotracheal intubation remains the preferred method of airway control, the Combitube is an effective airway as backup to the endotracheal tube, as well as a primary airway, especially outside hospital. Contraindications are listed.

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