Airway Management Skills in Emergency Services
Keywords:Airway, complications, emergency physicians, emergency intubation, first attempt success, technique
Endotracheal intubation in critically ill and injured patients is a high-risk procedure in an Emergency Room (ER). The risk of complications increases with repeated or prolonged attempts, making first attempt success primary goal for airway management in these patients. The primary objectives were to compare first pass success during intubation among various specialties with different level of airway management training and education.
This was a quantitative, observational, cross-sectional study conducted at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital for one year. The intubators completed an intubation data collecting form post intubation. After a failed first attempt, alternative methods such as using experienced intubators for subsequent intubation attempts were performed.
In the emergency room, 265 attempts of endotracheal intubation were made on total 224 patients. Most common causes for intubation were stroke (49 [21.8 %]), sepsis (39 [17.20 %]), COPD (28 [12.20 %]), and head traumas (24 [10.90 %]). During endotracheal intubation, 185 (82.58%) patients had a successful first-attempt success, and 39 (17.41 %) patients required ≥2 attempts. First pass success was least among medical officers (13/20 (65%)), compared to other senior specialties (p=0.01).
With more training and education on the airway, first-pass success during endotracheal intubation increased. All front-line workers should consider it an ethical commitment to stay updated through lifelong learning, an obligation that should be made easier by governing bodies enforcing a thorough airway management training programs.
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