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    Advanced prehospital airway management includes complex procedures carried out in challenging environments, necessitating a high level of technical and non-technical skills. We aimed to describe Norwegian Air Ambulance-crews' performance in a difficult airway scenario simulation, ending with a "cannot intubate, cannot oxygenate"-situation. The study describes Air Ambulance crews' management of a simulated difficult airway scenario. We used video-observation to assess time expenditure according to pre-defined time intervals and technical and non-technical performance was evaluated according to a structured evaluation-form. Thirty-six crews successfully completed the emergency cricothyroidotomy with mean procedural time 118 (SD: ±70) seconds. There was variation among the crews in terms of completed procedural steps, including preparation of equipment, patient- monitoring and management. The participants demonstrated uniform and appropriate situational awareness, and effective communication and resource utilization within the crews was evident. We found that Norwegian Air Ambulance crews managed a prehospital "cannot intubate, cannot oxygenate"-situation with an emergency cricothyroidotomy under stressful conditions with effective communication and resource utilization, and within a reasonable timeframe. Some discrepancies between standard operating procedures and performance are observed. Further studies to assess the impact of check lists on procedural aspects of airway management in the prehospital environment are warranted. © 2022. The Author(s).


    Åke Erling L Andresen, Jo Kramer-Johansen, Thomas Kristiansen. Emergency cricothyroidotomy in difficult airway simulation - a national observational study of Air Ambulance crew performance. BMC emergency medicine. 2022 Apr 09;22(1):64

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    PMID: 35397493

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