Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-21

Ultrasound is a reliable and faster tool for confirmation of endotracheal intubation compared to chest auscultation and capnography when performed by novice anaesthesia residents - A prospective controlled clinical trial

Department of Anesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jyotsna Punj
Department of Anesthesiology, Room No 5016, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_180_19

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Background: Anesthesia trainee may initially take longer time to intubate and unintentionally place the endotracheal tube (ETT) in the esophagus. The present study determined if ultrasound is the fastest method of confirmation of correct placement of ETT compared to capnography, and chest auscultation in trainees. Methods: First year anesthesia residents performed intubation in 120 patients recruited after ethical clearance and informed consent. Time to visualize flutter in trachea, double trachea sign, time to appearance of first and sixth capnography, and time to execute chest auscultation was noted. Results: Ultrasonography was statistically fastest method to determine endotracheal intubation (36.50 ± 15.14 seconds) vs unilateral chest auscultation (50.29 ± 15.50 seconds) vs bilateral chest auscultation (51.90 ± 15.98 seconds) vs capnography first waveform (53.57 ± 15.97 seconds) vs capnography sixth waveform (61.67 ± 15.88 seconds). Conclusion: When teaching endotracheal intubation to novice anesthesia residents using conventional direct laryngoscopy, ultrasonography is the fastest method to confirm correct ETT placement compared to capnograph and chest auscultation. Mentor can guide trainee to direct ETT towards trachea and can promptly detect esophageal intubation by double trachea sign.

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