Airway Management by Paramedics using Intubation vs. Combitube

Better use of time. Easier life. More productivity. These are just a few of the things most people answer when asked what benefits they experience from technological advancements. And most especially, when it comes to health, we cannot ignore the impact of medical discoveries.

Accidents happen plainly everywhere – at work, at home, in school. Therefore, there are some institutions and companies that give basic first aid training to people who have much background when it comes to emergency situations. There is the basic life support, which includes wound cleaning up to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. But one thing that is always taught: when advanced medical help is already available, we leave the job to them or we can serve as assistants.

When it comes to airway blockage, there are now different techniques on how to provide an open airway. For many years, we had the ordinary intubation, which makes use of a laryngoscope and the endotracheal tube inserted through the mouth that will be externally connected to an ambu bag or to a mechanical ventilator. It necessitates the healthcare provider to use utmost care so that he or she would be ensured that the tube is directly inserted in the trachea.

Another breakthrough in the healthcare industry is the introduction of another method of airway management, which is the Combitube. It is a double-lumen tube that is introduced to the airway through the mouth. It enters the esophagus where its cuff will be inflated, and the other tube continues to the level of the larynx. One advantage in using this method is that it allows proper ventilation whether it is placed on the esophagus or in the trachea. It also protects the patient from aspirating his or her gastric contents through the inflation of the cuff in the esophagus.

With the presentation of the advantages and the disadvantages of each of these methods, we will come to the point of comparing which one is better. One can be more preferred to be used in the hospital setting for long-term use, but the other one in an emergency setting outside the hospital.

But let us not forget, there are still ongoing medical studies to prove that. Leaving it to the experts will give us most accurate findings. Thankful enough, there are many options when it comes to healthcare delivery. Only, they should be used wisely so that they can bring forth the best result they can ever give.

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