Teleflex Medical has recently introduced the Rusch Easytube. The Easytube is a new dual lumen rescue airway very similar to the Combitube. The two major and two minor differences between the Easytube & Combitube are;
The Easytube is Latex-Free, which is a pretty big deal these days. The Easytube has a narrower tip, reducing the potential for trauma. The Easytube has a pathway between the two distal balloons for passing a tube exchanger or flexible fiber optic scope. The Easytube is a little shorter, but I have not yet figured out if this difference is functionally significant.
I have been asked a few times about the King Airway. The King Airway is another rescue airway. It shares a nice feature of the old PTL Airway,where both the large oropharyngeal and smaller distal balloons are inflated simultaneously. On the PTL, you do not even need a syringe to inflate the cuffs. My big issue with the King Airway is; If this airway is not patent once inserted – you are done.
This is a SINGLE ventilation lumen airway. That means the purpose of the distal balloon is to obturate (block) the esophagus. It worksjust like an old EOA; only instead of a facemask outside, you have a mask inside the posterior pharynx (the large balloon). The ventilation path for gas is through the top just inside the big balloon. If you cannot ventilate I’m pretty sure you have to pull the thing out. If you have to pull it out after a couple dozen chest compressions, well-
With either the Combitube or Easytube, if you cannot ventilate through the primary ventilation pathway, you have a backup. You can switch to the second 15mm connector and ventilate directly into the trachea. In other words, you take the worst possible scenario and make it the best possible solution. If you have accidentally placed the small balloon into the trachea that would initially prevent ventilation, you can capitalize on your mistake. Then you have a patient who is intubated, the optimal definitive solution.
As an airway-obsessed Paramedic I like my backup plans. It gives me great comfort to know if something goes wrong, I have more ways to resolve the situation before I get to the ED.