Comparison of success rates using video laryngoscopy versus direct laryngoscopy by residents during a simulated pediatric emergency

Michael J. Sylvia, Louise Maranda, Kathryn L. Harris, Jennifer Thompson, Barbara M. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: Emergency airway situations are relatively rare events in pediatrics with most graduating residents having little exposure to intubate. Newer video technology offers the promise of reducing complications associated with intubation. This study proposes that video laryngoscopy (VL) should aid less skilled residents to intubate an infant mannequin with greater success and speed as compared with traditional direct laryngoscopy (DL). Methods: Pediatric (PED) and emergency medicine (EM) residents were randomized in a prospective controlled study. A standard respiratory failure scenario was conducted using SimBaby with an uncomplicated airway. Residents who inadvertently performed esophageal intubation were made aware as part of the scenario and allowed to reattempt until successful. Results: Sixty-nine residents voluntarily participated, 49% EM and 51% PED. Seven subjects in the DL group required multiple attempts (21%), compared with 6 subjects in the VL group (17%) (P = 0.718). Median time to intubation was 30 seconds (95% confidence interval [CI], 19-41 seconds) for DL and 39 seconds (95% CI, 36-42 seconds) for VL (P = 0.111). Comparison of programs revealed a 77% PED success rate versus 85% EM success rate (P = 0.578) and median time to intubation of 38 seconds (95% CI, 31-45 seconds) for PED compared with 32 seconds (95% CI, 23-41 seconds) for EM residents (P = 0.316). In a subanalysis, subjects successful at first attempt revealed a 13-second median difference (DL, 23 seconds [95% CI, 18-28 seconds] vs. VL, 36 seconds [95% CI, 29-43 seconds; P = 0.01). Conclusions: In a simulated respiratory failure scenario involving residents, VL provided no additional success over DL with slightly longer time to intubation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Intubation [E05.497]
  • Laryngoscopes [E07.858.240.525]
  • Laryngoscopy [E01.370.386.460]
  • Laryngoscopy [E04.800.250.525]
  • Medical [H02.010.825]
  • Patient simulation [I02.903.525]
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Modeling and Simulation


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