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Feasibility of Prehospital Rapid Sequence Intubation in the Cabin of an AW169 Helicopter

McHenry, Allan S., Curtis, Leigh, Avest, Ewoud ter, Russell, Malcolm Q., Halls, Amy V., Mitchinson, Sophie, Griggs, Joanne E. and Lyon, Richard M. (2020) Feasibility of Prehospital Rapid Sequence Intubation in the Cabin of an AW169 Helicopter Air Medical Journal.

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Prehospital rapid sequence intubation (RSI) is an important aspect of prehospital care for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS). This study examines the feasibility of in-aircraft (aircraft on the ground) RSI in different simulated settings.


Using an AW169 aircraft cabin simulator at Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, 3 clinical scenarios were devised. All required RSI in a “can intubate, can ventilate” (easy variant) and a “can't intubate, can't ventilate” scenario (difficult variant). Doctor-paramedic HEMS teams were video recorded, and elapsed times for prespecified end points were analyzed.


Endotracheal intubation (ETI) was achieved fastest outside the simulator for the easy variant (median = 231 seconds, interquartile range = 28 seconds). Time to ETI was not significantly longer for in-aircraft RSI compared with RSI outside the aircraft, both in the easy (p = .14) and difficult variant (p = .50). Wearing helmets with noise distraction did not impact the time to intubation when compared with standard in-aircraft RSI, both in the easy (p = .28) and difficult variant (p = .24).


In-aircraft, on-the-ground RSI had no significant impact on the time to successful completion of ETI. Future studies should prospectively examine in-cabin RSI and explore the possibilities of in-flight RSI in civilian HEMS services.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
McHenry, Allan S.
Curtis, Leigh
Avest, Ewoud ter
Russell, Malcolm Q.
Halls, Amy V.
Mitchinson, Sophie
Griggs, Joanne E.
Lyon, Richard
Date : 2020
DOI : 10.1016/j.amj.2020.08.006
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Uncontrolled Keywords : Simulation; Helicopter Emergency Medicine Service; Pre-hospital Emergency Anaesthesia; Rapid sequence induction; AW169
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 06 Oct 2020 12:59
Last Modified : 06 Oct 2020 12:59

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