October 1, 2020

Background information: There are two popular blade shapes for video laryngoscopy, a standard-geometry blade comparable to a Macintosh blade and a hyperangulated blade. The standard-geometry blade permits both direct and indirect visualization during intubation, whereas the hyperangulated blade permits only indirect visualization. The hyperangulated blade is used with a rigid stylet, whereas the standard-geometry blade allows the use of a bougie if indicated. Proposed benefits of the hyperangulated blade include decreasing the need for head and neck manipulation. Previous research includes an observational study using emergency department data that compared the two blade shapes found no association between blade geometry and first-attempt success rates (Moiser et al.), but this was a single-center study with only 463 patients. Previous unadjusted data from the registry used in the current study by Driver et al. found that standard-geometry video laryngoscopy had a higher first-attempt success rate than video laryngoscopy using the hyperangulated blade (91 percent versus 80 percent, n=1,644) based on data from 2002 through 2012 (Brown et al.).

January 31, 2019

Background Information: The successful placement of an endotracheal tube (ETT) is a necessary skill all emergency physicians must possess. Performing life-saving interventions are understandably stressful as their failure can lead to morbid consequences and expedited patient death.1,2 The intensive training of emergency physicians, the availability of multiple alternative airway adjuncts and the use of rapid-sequence intubation has helped reduce the intubation complication rate among trauma and medical patients.3-5 Confirmatory methods to ensure the placement of the endotracheal tube are ever changing with no single method being infallible.6. Physical exam findings such as auscultation of the chest and epigastrium, visualization of thoracic movement and fogging of the ETT are not sufficiently reliable to confirm placement.7,8 The use of end-tidal CO2 detection has been shown to have a cumulative false-positive and false-negative failure rate of 10% in accurately confirming the ETT’s location according to the authors of this paper (The paper referenced is a bit dated)­.6 Furthermore, the usage of these devices may contribute to the complications as they frequently require up to 5 ventilations to obtain an accurate reading.9-11 This puts the patient at risk for aspiration especially if the tube is in the esophagus. No.12 Despite a post-intubation CXR taking time, exposing the patient to more radiation and adding to the cost of treatment, it still continues to remain the standard of care.12-14  The authors of this study wished to better understand the test characteristics of utilizing ultrasound to confirm ETT placement. They conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the accuracy of this ETT confirmatory method.

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