The Impact of a Soiled Airway on Intubation Success in the Emergency Department When Using the GlideScope or the Direct Laryngoscope

John C. Sakles, G. Judson Corn, Patrick Hollinger, Brittany Arcaris, Asad E Patanwala, Jarrod M. Mosier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: The objective was to determine the impact of a soiled airway on firstpass success when using the GlideScope video laryngoscope or the direct laryngoscope for intubation in the emergency department (ED). Methods: Data were prospectively collected on all patients intubated in an academic ED from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2016. Patients ≥ 18 years of age, who underwent rapid sequence intubation by an emergency medicine resident with the GlideScope or the direct laryngoscope, were included in the analysis. Data were stratified by device used (GlideScope or direct laryngoscope). The primary outcome was firstpass success. Patients were categorized as those without blood or vomitus (CLEAN) and those with blood or vomitus (SOILED) in their airway. Multivariate regression models were developed to control for confounders. Results: When using the GlideScope, the firstpass success was lower in the SOILED group (249/306; 81.4%) than the in CLEAN group (586/644, 91.0%; difference = 9.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.7%-14.5%). Similarly, when using the direct laryngoscope, the firstpass success was lower in the SOILED group (186/284, 65.5%) than in the CLEAN group (569/751, 75.8%; difference = 10.3%; 95% CI = 4.0%-16.6%). The SOILED airway was associated with a decreased firstpass success in both the GlideScope cohort (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.4; 95% CI = 0.3-0.7) and the direct laryngoscope cohort (aOR = 0.6; 95% CI = 0.5-0.8). Conclusion: Soiling of the airway was associated with a reduced firstpass success during emergency intubation, and this reduction occurred to a similar degree whether using either the GlideScope or the direct laryngoscope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this