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Resuscitation. 2003 Feb;56(2):153-7.

The assessment of three methods to verify tracheal tube placement in the emergency setting.

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Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Fukuoka University School of Medicine, 7-45-1 Nanakuma, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan.


We studied prospectively the reliability of clinical methods, end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO(2)) detection, and the esophageal detector device (EDD) for verifying tracheal intubation in 137 adult patients in the emergency department. Immediately after intubation, the tracheal tube position was tested by the EDD and ETCO(2) monitor, followed by auscultation of the chest. The views obtained at laryngoscopy were classified according to the Cormack grade. Of the 13 esophageal intubations that occurred, one false-positive result occurred in the EDD test and auscultation. In the non-cardiac arrest patients (n=56), auscultation, the ETCO(2), and EDD test correctly identified 89.3, 98.2*, and 94.6%* of tracheal intubations, respectively (*, P<0.05 vs. the cardiac arrest patients). In the cardiac arrest patients (n=81), auscultation, the ETCO(2), and the EDD tests correctly identified 92.6**, 67.9, and 75.3% of tracheal intubations, respectively (**, P<0.05 vs. EDD and ETCO(2)). The frequencies of Cormack grade 1 or 2 were 83.9% in the non-cardiac arrest, and 95.1% in the cardiac arrest patients. In conclusion, the ETCO(2) monitor is the most reliable method for verifying tracheal intubation in non-cardiac arrest patients. During cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, however, negative results by the ETCO(2) or the EDD are not uncommon, and clinical methods are superior to the use of these devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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