Airway management and endotracheal intubation by paramedics for cardiac arrest

Paramedics are trained to perform endotracheal intubation (ETI), though a step-wise airway management approach has led to the use of supraglottic airway devices (SGAs), often in place of ETI. The current article considers airway management by paramedics during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A case-note review relating to adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrests was carried out, with the collection of data over the period of a year, in one region of the UK. The results indicate that airway management is inconsistent during CPR, though simple adjuncts are used successfully. In a cohort of 2779 patients, in resuscitated cardiac arrest, attempts to intubate were made in less than half of the patients. Less than a third of patients were successfully intubated. Reasons for not attempting intubation need further investigation, alongside reasons for unsuccessful attempts.

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