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Anesth Analg. 2005 May;100(5):1439-46, table of contents.

Cannot intubate-cannot ventilate and difficult intubation strategies: results of a Canadian national survey.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology, Toronto Western Hospital, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8. david.wong@uhn.on.ca

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the preferences of Canadian anesthesiologists in difficult intubation and cannot intubate-cannot ventilate (CICV) situations. Using a mailed survey, we asked anesthesiologists their preferences for and comfort level in using (a) alternative airway devices in a difficult intubation scenario and (b) infraglottic airway in a CICV scenario. Chi-square analysis and Student's t-test were used for categorical and continuous variables. Nine-hundred-seventy-one of 2066 surveys were returned. In the difficult intubation scenario, the preferred alternative airway devices were lighted stylet (45%), fiberoptic bronchoscope (26%), and intubating laryngeal mask airway (20%). Only 57% of respondents had encountered a CICV situation in real life. In the CICV scenario, preferred infraglottic airways were cricothyroidotomy by IV catheter (51%), percutaneous cricothyroidotomy (28%), and tracheostomy by surgeon (14%). Anesthesiologists had little experience and were uncomfortable with open surgical infraglottic airways. Anesthesiologists with experience using infraglottic airways on mannequins were more comfortable using them in patients (P < 0.001). In conclusion, in a difficult intubation scenario, the lighted stylet has emerged as the preferred alternative airway device. In a CICV scenario, respondents preferred cricothyroidotomy by IV catheter, followed by percutaneous cricothyroidotomy and tracheostomy by surgeon. Practice on mannequins was associated with improved comfort in using infraglottic airways in patients.

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