A protocol for helicopter in-cabin intubation

A group of medics from Sweden working for Swedish Air Ambulance services, have developed a protocol for helicopter in-cabin intubation, based on the premise that while the gold standard for prehospital intubation is to avoid doing so in confined spaces, for helicopter air ambulance doctors, this is not always realistic. According to the study, published in Air Medical Journal, 14 prehospital physicians were randomized to solve a simplified clinical scenario during which they were to intubate a mannequin either inside the helicopter, in accordance with in-cabin protocol, or outside on an ambulance stretcher. Participants scored intubating conditions using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Cormack-Lehane classification. The number of intubation attempts was recorded. Three timing end points were also measured.

The study reported: “Protocolised in-cabin intubation can be performed in a timely manner under conditions that are equal to or better than when intubating outside on a stretcher with 360-degree patient access. Although delaying the establishment of a secure airway, in-cabin intubation may reduce scene times.”

For the full report: https://www.airmedicaljournal.com/article/S1067-991X(18)30060-9/fulltext

 

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