J Spec Oper Med. 2023 Nov 17:5TNR-B19B. doi: 10.55460/5TNR-B19B. Online ahead of print.
This study evaluated the effect of an airway localization device (ALD) on surgical cricothyrotomy (SC) success rates and prehospital provider confidence. SC is indicated in 0.62% to 1.8% of all patients with military trauma, especially those presenting with traumatic airway obstruction. The effect of ALD was evaluated in an airway mannequin model during SC with the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC)-recommended Control-Cric Cricothyrotomy System. Outcomes included procedural time, Likert measures of operator confidence, and qualitative data/feedback for suggested future improvements in device design and training. The average procedural times of the hospital corpsmen (HM) including 20 men and 8 women were 67 seconds (without ALD) and 87 seconds (with ALD) respectively, which were statistically significant. Provider confidence for all SC procedural steps increased significantly after SC with and without ALD. The average procedural times of the Navy Special Operations Forces (SOF) group comprising 8 males were 56 seconds (without ALD) and 64 seconds (with ALD), which was not statistically significant. Provider confidence for two SC procedural steps (adequate hook retraction and first-attempt SC tube insertion) increased significantly after SC with and without ALD. First-attempt SC success rates were 90% in each group. Both groups provided feedback on the Control-Cric and ALD, with qualitative feedback analyzed for further SC training recommendations. Procedural times were increased with ALD when compared to those without ALD, although the increase may not be clinically significant in this classroom setting.