The influence of gender and experience on intubation ability and technique: a manikin study

M.S. Waddington, Mike Paech, I.H.S. Kurowski, C.J. Reed, G.J. Nicholls, D.T. Guy, R.E. Day

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    Abstract

    Female anaesthetists in early training commonly question whether their strength is adequate for tracheal intubation. This study investigated the influence of gender and experience on intubation ability and laryngoscopic technique. A manikin model and purpose-designed force-transducing laryngoscope was used to test three cohorts at different levels of experience (novice, intermediate and experienced males and females, n = 65) for the axial force and torque exerted, best laryngoscopic view obtained, success with and time for intubation and laryngoscopic technique. There were no significant differences between novice or experienced female and male intubators in markers of their ability to intubate or in the forces generated. For novice females compared with novice males, mean success rate was 90% (80.2 to 99.9) versus 97% (91.1 to 100, P = 0.29); and mean time to intubate 24 seconds (19 to 29 seconds) versus 18 seconds (14 to 21 seconds, P = 0.057). With experience, the forces generated during intubation reduced and ability improved. Proximal laryngoscope grips (close to the blade) generated lower forces than distal grips. Female and male intubators did not differ in ability to intubate or in the forces they exerted during direct laryngoscopy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)791-801
    JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
    Volume37
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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    Waddington, M. S., Paech, M., Kurowski, I. H. S., Reed, C. J., Nicholls, G. J., Guy, D. T., & Day, R. E. (2009). The influence of gender and experience on intubation ability and technique: a manikin study. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 37(5), 791-801.