Open Access Research article

The use of the Airtraq® optical laryngoscope for routine tracheal intubation in high-risk cardio-surgical patients

Gereon Schälte*, Ulrike Scheid, Steffen Rex, Mark Coburn, Britta Fiedler, Rolf Rossaint and Norbert Zoremba

Author Affiliations

Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:425  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-425

Published: 19 October 2011

Abstract

Background

The Airtraq® optical laryngoscope (Prodol Ltd., Vizcaya, Spain) is a novel disposable device facilitating tracheal intubation in routine and difficult airway patients. No data investigating routine tracheal intubation using the Airtaq® in patients at a high cardiac risk are available at present. Purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility and hemodynamic implications of tracheal intubation with the Aitraq® optical laryngoscope, in high-risk cardio-surgical patients.

Methods

123 consecutive ASA III patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting were routinely intubated with the Airtraq® laryngoscope. Induction of anesthesia was standardized according to our institutional protocol. All tracheal intubations were performed by six anesthetists trained in the use of the Airtraq® prior.

Results

Overall success rate was 100% (n = 123). All but five patients trachea could be intubated in the first attempt (95,9%). 5 patients were intubated in a 2nd (n = 4) or 3rd (n = 1) attempt. Mean intubation time was 24.3 s (range 16-128 s). Heart rate, arterial blood pressure and SpO2 were not significantly altered. Minor complications were observed in 6 patients (4,8%), i.e. two lesions of the lips and four minor superficial mucosal bleedings. Intubation duration (p = 0.62) and number of attempts (p = 0.26) were independent from BMI and Mallampati score.

Conclusion

Tracheal intubation with the Airtraq® optical laryngoscope was feasible, save and easy to perform in high-risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery. In all patients, a sufficient view on the vocal cords could be obtained, independent from BMI and preoperative Mallampati score.

Trial Registration

DRKS 00003230