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Evaluation of Airway Management Proficiency in Pre-Hospital Emergency Setting; a Simulation Study

Shahrzad Ghiyasvandian, Afshin Khazaei, Masoumeh Zakerimoghadam, Rasoul Salimi, Ali Afshari, Abbas Mogimbeigi




Introduction: Infrequency and low exposure to critically ill patients requiring airway management will lead to reduction in the skills and performance of the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) over time. The present study was conducted primarily aiming to evaluate airway management in stationary ambulance simulations and identify the factors affecting Endotracheal Intubation (ETI) success rate.

Method: This is a simulation study. The study population comprised of active EMTs in prehospital emergency bases in Hamadan province. The participants were placed at the back of an ambulance to perform the airway management scenario, which had already been prepared. To investigate the factors affecting the success (≤3 attempts) or failure rate of intubation, both unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for univariate and multivariate regressions were reported.

Results: 184 subjects with the mean age of 33.91+6.25 years and the median work experience of 8 years were studied (54.3% with a history of training in the past year).  The median number of previous intubations performed by technicians in the last year was 7 times (IQR 4-9). The total success rate at ventilation, intubation and back-up airway were 50.67%, 53.29%, and 50.0%, respectively. Out of the total 552 attempts for ETI placement, 58.2% of the technicians were able to perform ETI within 3 attempts. Univariate analysis showed that age (OR=1.06, P=0.022), previous number of ETIs (OR=2.49, P<0.001), work experience (OR=1.13, P<0.001), and previous ETI training (OR=1.85, P=0.041) were significantly associated with ETI success rate. After adjustment, previous number of ETIs (OR=2.66, P<0.001) was the most effective factor on ETI success rate.

Conclusion: Success rate in airway management, especially ETI, is low. Therefore, improvement in modifiable factors such as increasing the number of ETIs performed and gaining experience in the same conditions as pre-hospital emergency is necessary.


Airway Management; Endotracheal Intubation; Emergency Medicine Technicians


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/emergency.v6i1.21973


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