Intubation harder on the floor or in an ambulance

An abstract from the The National Association of EMS Physicians® 2010 Scientific Assembly published in a Supplement of Prehospital Emergency Care describes a study comparing cadaveric intubation success rates by paramedics in different positions: on the floor, on an elevated stretcher, and in a simulated ambulance. Despite less experience intubating on an elevated stretcher, the participants had increased first-attempt success in the elevated stretcher position compared with the back of the ambulance and the floor (although in the latter case this lacked statistical significance). Position is everything! In our HEMS service we prefer a lowered stretcher to either on the ground or in the ambulance – it would be nice to see this position studied one day too.

Pre-hospital intubation: patient position does matter
Prehospital Emergency Care 2010;14(Suppl 1):9