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Unrecognized misplacement of endotracheal tubes in a mixed urban to rural emergency medical services setting


Jemmett, Michael E; Kendal, Kevin M; Fourre, Mark W; Burton, John H (2003). Unrecognized misplacement of endotracheal tubes in a mixed urban to rural emergency medical services setting. Academic Emergency Medicine, 10(9):961-965.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the rate of unrecognized endotracheal tube misplacement when performed by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in a mixed urban and rural setting.
METHODS: The authors conducted a prospective, observational analysis of out-of-hospital endotracheal intubations (EIs) performed by EMS personnel serving a mixed urban, suburban, and rural population. From July 1, 1998, to August 30, 1999, emergency physicians assessed and recorded the position of out-of-hospital EIs using auscultation, direct laryngoscopy, infrared CO(2) detectors, esophageal detector devices, and chest x-ray. The state EMS database also was reviewed to determine the number of EIs involving patients transported to the authors' medical center and paramedic assessment of success for these encounters.
RESULTS: A total of 167 out-of-hospital EIs were recorded, of which 136 (81%) were deemed successful by EMS personnel. Observational forms were completed for 109 of the 136 patients who arrived intubated to the emergency department. Of the studied patients, 12% (13 of 109) were found to have misplaced endotracheal tubes. For the patients with unrecognized improperly placed tubes, 9% (10 of 109) were in the esophagus, 2% (2 of 109) were in the right main stem, and 1% (1 of 109) were above the cords. Paramedics serving urban and suburban areas did not perform significantly better (p < 0.05) than intermediate-level providers serving areas that are more rural.
CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of unrecognized misplacement of endotracheal tubes by EMS personnel may be higher than most previous studies, making regular EMS evaluation and the out-of-hospital use of devices to confirm placement imperative. The authors were unable to show a difference in misplacement rates based on provider experience or level of training.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the rate of unrecognized endotracheal tube misplacement when performed by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in a mixed urban and rural setting.
METHODS: The authors conducted a prospective, observational analysis of out-of-hospital endotracheal intubations (EIs) performed by EMS personnel serving a mixed urban, suburban, and rural population. From July 1, 1998, to August 30, 1999, emergency physicians assessed and recorded the position of out-of-hospital EIs using auscultation, direct laryngoscopy, infrared CO(2) detectors, esophageal detector devices, and chest x-ray. The state EMS database also was reviewed to determine the number of EIs involving patients transported to the authors' medical center and paramedic assessment of success for these encounters.
RESULTS: A total of 167 out-of-hospital EIs were recorded, of which 136 (81%) were deemed successful by EMS personnel. Observational forms were completed for 109 of the 136 patients who arrived intubated to the emergency department. Of the studied patients, 12% (13 of 109) were found to have misplaced endotracheal tubes. For the patients with unrecognized improperly placed tubes, 9% (10 of 109) were in the esophagus, 2% (2 of 109) were in the right main stem, and 1% (1 of 109) were above the cords. Paramedics serving urban and suburban areas did not perform significantly better (p < 0.05) than intermediate-level providers serving areas that are more rural.
CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of unrecognized misplacement of endotracheal tubes by EMS personnel may be higher than most previous studies, making regular EMS evaluation and the out-of-hospital use of devices to confirm placement imperative. The authors were unable to show a difference in misplacement rates based on provider experience or level of training.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Angiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:2003
Deposited On:17 Mar 2014 08:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:26
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1069-6563
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1197/S1069-6563(03)00315-4
PubMed ID:12957980

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