Background. The interaction between operators and their working environment during laryngoscopy is poorly understood. Numerous studies have focused on the forces applied to the patient's airway during laryngoscopy, but only a few authors have addressed operator muscle activity and workload. We tested whether different devices (Glidescope® and Macintosh) use different muscles and how these differences affect the perceived workload.MethodsTen staff anaesthetists performed three intubations with each device on a manikin. Surface electromyography was recorded for eight single muscles of the left upper limb. The NASA Task Load Index (TLX) was administered after each experimental session to evaluate perceived workload.ResultsA consistent reduction in muscular activation occurred with Glidescope® compared with Macintosh for all muscles tested (mean effect size d=3.28), and significant differences for the upper trapezius (P=0.002), anterior deltoid (P=0.001), posterior deltoid (P=0.000), and brachioradialis (P=0.001) were observed. The overall NASA-TLX workload score was significantly lower for Glidescope® than for Macintosh (P=0.006), and the factors of physical demand (P=0.008) and effort (P=0.006) decreased significantly. Conclusions. Greater muscular activity and workload were observed with the Macintosh laryngoscope. Augmented vision and related postural adjustments related to using the Glidescope® may reduce activation of the operator's muscles and task workload.
- intubation, tracheal
- muscle fatigue, workload
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine