05.01.2023 | Originalien
Analysis of the primary utilization of videolaryngoscopy in prehospital emergency care in Germany
Dr. Daniel Anthony Koch, Dr. Paul Hagebusch, Dr. Philipp Faul, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Steinfeldt, Prof. Dr. Dr. Reinhard Hoffmann, PD Dr. Uwe Schweigkofler
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In 2019, the German prehospital airway management guidelines were published. One of the recommendations was the primary utilization of videolaryngoscopy (VL) for every prehospital endotracheal intubation (phETI). Guideline compliance is extremely important in emergency medicine as non-compliance in the worst-case scenario leads to death. The study aims to quantify guideline compliance among emergency medical service (EMS) physicians and, subsequently to analyze subgroups influencing compliance.
Material and methods
An online survey was developed and distributed as a hyperlink via email to all medical directors of EMS (n = 155) and the three main operators of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in Germany. The survey was online from August 1st 2021 until October 3rd 2021. The primary outcome measure was the primary VL utilization. Data were evaluated descriptively. A multivariate regression analysis was used to determine associations between the primary VL utilization and age, sex, educational level, specialization, phETI per year, operating field, VL device type, and guideline knowledge.
The analysis included 698 EMS physicians. More than 55% of the EMS physicians do not primarily use a videolaryngoscope for phETI. Multivariate regression analysis showed a significantly higher compliance if the devices C‑MAC® or McGrath® were on board, guidelines were known or EMS physicians were female. Age, educational level, specialization or prehospital intubation experience had no significant impact.
The study shows non-compliance with prehospital airway management guidelines in Germany. The guideline recommendation is based on scientific evidence but is not yet generally accepted by all EMS physicians. Videolaryngoscope device type and sex seem to influence the primary VL utilization. Training for EMS physicians must be extended and individual prehospital airway management should be reconsidered by every EMS physician.