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Eur J Emerg Med. 1994 Sep;1(3):123-5.

Immediate management of the airway during cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a hospital without a resident anaesthesiologist.

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Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, UK.


The effect of withdrawing the resident anaesthesiologist from the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) team was audited over a 1-year period in a 407-bed hospital in which nurses had been trained in the use of the laryngeal mask airway (LMA) as a first response airway in CPR. The data were compared to those of the previous year, which are shown in parentheses. During the audit period, there were 115 (79) calls to 115 (79) patients; the immediate airway was secured using a mask bag valve assembly in 75 (49) episodes, the Laerdal pocket mask in 2 (2) episodes, the LMA in 64 (2) and the endotracheal tube in 20 (57). Return of spontaneous circulation occurred in 61% (36%). There were no instances of failure to maintain the immediate airway during the audit period. Initial results suggest that an anaesthesiologist may not be essential for the provision of an immediate airway in patients requiring CPR.

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