Cardiac arrest patients are more likely to survive when resuscitated with a new type of breathing tube, according to US researchers.
Using a more flexible laryngeal breathing tube than normal could result in thousands of saved lives every year, according to a study led by the University of Texas Health Science Center.
“Patients treated using the newer and easier laryngeal tube device may have a higher survival rate”
The Pragmatic Airway Resuscitation Trial compared survival rates among 3,000 adults with cardiac arrest treated by paramedic crews from 27 emergency medical services over 12 months.
Approximately half received the newer laryngeal tube airway, while the other half received traditional endotracheal intubation.
Overall, survival was higher in the new tube device group than the standard intubation group, said the study authors in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
With the new tube, 18.3% survived three days in the hospital, while in the intubation group, 15.4% survived three days, the researchers found.
A total of 10.8% in the new tube group survived to leave the hospital, while 8.1% in the intubation group survived to leave the hospital.
The proportion of patients surviving with good brain function was also higher for the new device than standard intubation, said the researchers.
They said they believed that the benefits of the newer airway device were due to its easier technique, leading to better blood flow and oxygen delivery.
Funded by the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the study is the largest of its kind to test oxygen delivery methods used by firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
Lead author Professor Henry Wang said: “Based upon these results, use of the newer, more flexible laryngeal breathing tube could result in thousands of saved lives every year.
“This is one of the first randomised trials to show that a paramedic airway intervention can improve cardiac arrest survival,” said Professor Wang.
“Our trial showed that cardiac arrest patients treated using the newer and easier laryngeal tube device may have a higher survival rate,” he added.