Complications Common during Prehospital Intubation

Preface:  This retrospective study examined physician performed prehospital intubations between 2008 and 2012 in Scottish aeromedical transport system.  Over 200 intubations were analyzed and 75% of the intubations were during inter facility transport and 25% at the scene.  There was a 15% incidence of hypoxia and an 8% incidence of hypotension.

On multivariate analysis, a Cormack and Lehane grade 3 or 4 glottic view was the only predictor of oxygen desaturation. Complication rates were similar between emergency medicine–trained and anesthesia-trained physicians.

Comment:  It would be interesting to see if prehospital use of video laryngoscopy (e.g., Glidescope intubation) would decrease the rate of hypoxia.

Wimalasena YH et al. Comparison of factors associated with desaturation in prehospital emergency anaesthesia in primary and secondary retrievals. Emerg Med J 2014 Nov 12; [e-pub ahead of print].

Read all articles in Emergency Procedures, Glidescope Intubation, medical procedures, Respiratory diseases
Tags: HPC updates, Hypoxia, intubation

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