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July 13, 1984

Use of Esophageal Gastric Tube Airway

Author Affiliations

Vacaville, Calif

JAMA. 1984;252(2):209. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350020018013

To the Editor.—  The article by Auerbach and Geehr on the respiratory effectiveness of the EGTA provides us with some interesting and needed data. However, as is too often the case in the medical literature, the authors have confounded their study design, done virtually meaningless statistical analyses, and then drawn unwarranted and premature conclusions from their work.Determination of blood gas values taken immediately on the arrival of a patient in the emergency department after field insertion of an EGTA cannot be compared with blood gas values taken five minutes after emergency department insertion of an endotracheal tube (ETA). Not only will the results be confounded with respect to time, they will also be confounded with respect to variables other than the airway device. Field insertion of any airway is bound to be more difficult and associated with more complications than insertion of the same device in the emergency department.