The esophageal obturator airway: A study of respiratory effectiveness

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52 Scopus citations


The respiratory effectiveness of esophageal obturator airway (EOA) ventilation versus endotracheal tube (ET) ventilation was compared in 22 patients experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest in a prehospital setting. Arterial blood gas analyses were performed on each patient after initial ventilation with the EOA and again after ET insertion and ventilation. For the entire study population, there was no significant difference (P > .05) in PO2 or pH measurements. There was a significant difference (P < .01) in mean PCO2s. Patients admitted to the coronary care unit demonstrated no difference in any parameter of blood gas measurements. In patients declared dead in the emergency department, there was a statistically significant difference in PCO2 levels, which were lower with ET ventilation. All other parameters showed no significant difference. In general, when blood gas analyses were good or bad with the EOA, they were similarly good or bad with ET ventilation, whether the patient lived or died. Fifty-five percent of patients showed a decrease in PO2 after ET intubation and 73% demonstrated a decrease in PCO2 after ET intubation. Patients who left the emergency department alive had shorter apnea to EOA insertion times than did those declared dead in the emergency area. Although the EOA does not replace ET ventilation, this study demonstrates that esophageal airway ventilation is as effective as endotracheal intubation in the emergency department setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1980


  • cardiopulmonary arrest, esophageal obturator airway
  • esophageal obturator airway, effectiveness
  • ventilation, esophageal obturator airway versus endotracheal tube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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