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The Parker Flex‐Tip™ tracheal tube makes endotracheal intubation with the Bullard laryngoscope easier and faster

Suzuki, A.*; Tampo, A.*; Abe, N.*; Otomo, S.*; Minami, S.*; Henderson, J. J.; Iwasaki, H.*

European Journal of Anaesthesiology: January 2008 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 43–47
doi: 10.1017/S0265021507001184
Original Article

Background:: The Bullard laryngoscope can be useful in management of difficult airway. When the endotracheal tube is advanced over the original Bullard laryngoscope stylet, the endotracheal tube sometimes makes contact with structures around the vocal cords, especially the right arytenoids. A similar problem also occurs with flexible fibreoptic intubation and it has been shown that use of the Parker Flex‐Tip™ tube usually resolves the problem. In this study we tested our hypothesis that use of the Parker Flex‐Tip™ tube might improve endotracheal tube passage with the Bullard laryngoscope.

Methods:: Forty patients scheduled for elective anaesthesia were randomly assigned into group ST (standard tube) or Group PT (Parker Flex‐Tip™ tube). The time taken to achieve successful endotracheal tube placement after obtaining the best laryngeal view, the number of attempts at intubation and the incidences of successful intubation at first attempt and of re‐direction of the Bullard laryngoscope during intubation were recorded. Unpaired t‐test and χ2‐test were employed and P < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results:: Use of the Parker Flex‐Tip™ tube reduced the time required for successful endotracheal tube placement after the best laryngeal view was obtained from 14 ± 6 to 6 ± 2 s (P < 0.01). It also reduced the incidence of requirement for re‐direction of the Bullard laryngoscope during intubation from 10/19 to 1/19 (P < 0.01). The incidence of successful intubation at the first attempt (18/19 vs. 15/19) was higher in the PT group but the difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusions:: During intubation with the Bullard laryngoscope, use of the Parker Flex‐Tip™ tube is associated with more rapid success and a lower incidence of re‐direction of the Bullard laryngoscope during endotracheal intubation when compared to a standard endotracheal tube.

*Asahikawa Medical College, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Asahikawa, Japan

Gartnavel General Hospital, Department of Anaesthesia, Glasgow, UK

Correspondence to: Akihiro Suzuki, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Asahikawa Medical College, Midorigaoka Higashi 2‐1‐1‐1, Asahikawa 078‐8510, Japan. E‐mail: masuikasuzuki@yahoo.co.jp; Tel: +81 166 68 2583; Fax: +81 166 68 2589

This work have been presented as an abstract at the ASA Annual Meeting at Chicago, October 2006.

Accepted for publication 18 May 2007

First published online 1 August 2007

© 2008 European Society of Anaesthesiology