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Comparison of the Force Required for Dislodgement Between Secured and Unsecured Airways

Curtis Davenport, Christian Martin-Gill, Henry E Wang, James Mayrose, Jestin N Carlson
Prehospital Emergency Care 2018, 22 (6): 778-781

INTRODUCTION: Airway device placement and maintenance are of utmost importance when managing critically ill patients. The best method to secure airway devices is currently unknown.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the force required to dislodge 4 types of airways with and without airway securing devices.

METHODS: We performed a prospective study using 4 commonly used airway devices (endotracheal tube [ETT], laryngeal mask airway [LMA], King laryngeal tube [King], and iGel) performed on 5 different mannequin models. All devices were removed twice per mannequin in random order, once unsecured and once secured as per manufacturers' recommendations; Thomas Tube Holder (Laerdal, Stavanger, Norway) for ETT, LMA, and King; custom tube holder for iGel. A digital force measuring device was attached to the exposed end of the airway device and gradually pulled vertically and perpendicular to the mannequin until the tube had been dislodged, defined as at least 4 cm of movement. Dislodgement force was reported as the maximum force recorded during dislodgement. We compared the relative difference in the secured and unsecured force for each device and between devices using a random-effects regression model accounting for variability in the manikins.

RESULTS: The median dislodgment forces (interquartile range [IQR]) in pounds for each secured device were: ETT 13.3 (11.6, 14.1), LMA 16.6 (13.9, 18.3), King 21.7 (16.9, 25.1), and iGel 8 (6.8, 8.3). The median dislodgement forces for each unsecured device were: ETT 4.5 (4.3, 5), LMA 8.4 (6.8, 10.7), King 10.6 (8.2, 11.5), and iGel 3.9 (3.2, 4.2). The relative difference in dislodgement forces (95% confidence intervals) were higher for each device when secured: ETT 8.6 (6.2 to 11), LMA 8.8 (4.6 to 13), King 12.1 (7.2 to 16.6), iGel 4 (1.1 to 6.9). When compared to secured ETT, the King required greater dislodgement force (relative difference 8.6 [4.5-12.7]). The secured iGel required less force than the secured ETT (relative difference -4.8 [-8.9 to -0.8]).

CONCLUSION: Compared with a secured device, an unsecured airway device requires only half the force to cause airway dislodgement. The secured King had the highest dislodgement force relative to the other studied devices.


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