Posted: 2021-09-13 19:00:00
Background: The aerosol box and intubation tent are improvised barrier-enclosure devices developed during the novel coronavirus pandemic to protect health care workers from aerosol transmission. Objective: Using time to intubation as a crude proxy, we aimed to compare the efficiency and usability of the aerosol box and intubation tent in a simulated manikin. Methods: This was a single-center, randomized, crossover manikin study involving 28 participants (9 anesthetists, 16 emergency physicians, and 3 intensivists). Each participant performed rapid sequence intubations in a random sequence of three different scenarios: 1) no device use; 2) aerosol box; 3) intubation tent. We compared the time to intubation between different scenarios. Results: The median total intubation time with no device use, aerosol box, and intubation tent were 23.7 s (interquartile range [IQR] 19.4-28.4 s), 30.9 s (IQR 24.1-52.5 s), and 26.0 s (IQR 22.1-30.8 s), respectively. Post hoc analysis showed a significantly longer intubation time using the aerosol box compared with no device use (p < 0.001) and compared with the intubation tent (p < 0.001). The difference between the intubation tent and no device use was not significant. The first-pass intubation success rate did not differ between the groups. Only aerosol box use had resulted in breaches of personal protective equipment. Participants considered intubation with the intubation tent more favorable than the aerosol box. Conclusions: The intubation tent seems to have a better barrier-enclosure design than the aerosol box, with a reasonable balance between efficiency and usability. Further evaluation of its efficacy in preventing aerosol dispersal and in human studies are warranted prior to recommendation of widespread adoption. Keywords: COVID-19; aerosol; aerosol box; infection; manikin, intubation tent; rapid sequence intubation.
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