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Proficiencies of military medical officers in intubating difficult airways

  • Lim, Jonathan ZM1
  • Chew, Shi Hao1
  • Chin, Benjamin ZB1
  • Siew, Raymond CH2
  • 1 National University Health System, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, Singapore, 119074, Singapore , Singapore (Singapore)
  • 2 RS Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, 71 Ubi Road 1, #05-41, Singapore, 408732, Singapore , Singapore (Singapore)
Published Article
BMC Emergency Medicine
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Oct 07, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12873-020-00375-2
Springer Nature


BackgroundThis study sheds light on the proficiency of military medical officers who had received between 2 and 3 years of post-graduate training, in the handling of the difficult airway in a trauma manikin simulator using direct and video laryngoscopes.MethodOne hundred thirty-three doctors from the Singapore Armed Forces Medical Officer Cadet Course were assessed using high-fidelity simulator models with standardised difficult airways (simulator with tongue-swelling and cervical collar). They used the Macintosh direct laryngoscope (DL), King Vision channelled-blade laryngoscope (KVC), King Vision non-channelled blade laryngoscope (KVNC), and the McGrath (MG) laryngoscope on the same model in a randomised sequence. The intubation success rates and time to intubation were recorded and analysed for the study.ResultsThe medical officers had a 71.4% intubation success rate with the DL on the difficult airway trauma simulator model and the mean time to intubation of 40.1 s. With the KVC, the success rate is 86.5% with mean intubation time of 40.4 s. The KVNC produced 24.8% success rate, with mean time to intubation of 53.2 s. The MG laryngoscope produced 85.0% success rate, with a mean time of intubation of 37.4 s.ConclusionMilitary medical officers with 2–3 years of post-graduate training had a success rate of 71.4% success rate intubating a simulated difficult airway in a trauma setting using a DL. Success rates were improved with the use of KVC and the MG laryngoscope, but was worse with the KVNC.

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