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April 27, 1984

The Esophageal Obturator Airway-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of California Sacramento

JAMA. 1984;251(16):2085-2086. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340400021015

In Reply.—  We agree with Dr Don Michael that the study by Schofferman et al1 is inadequate to evaluate the EOA. This study was performed in a controlled situation under physician direction in the emergency room. Consequently, the report did not evaluate the capability of the EOA for prehospital ventilation. Two studies have documented that prehospital ventilation with the EOA, as measured by arterial blood gases, is inadequate.2,3One study used EMT II rescuers and the other paramedics, so training of rescuers does not appear to be important. Both studies indicated that difficulty in maintaining an effective mouth seal with the EOA contributed to the poor ventilatory results.2,3Facility of EOA insertion is a problem. The device offers little or no improvement over properly trained rescuers using endotracheal intubation. In a recent article in The Journal, Jacobs et al reported that the endotracheal tube was successfully placed