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Acad Emerg Med. 2010 Sep;17(9):918-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00827.x.

The association between prehospital endotracheal intubation attempts and survival to hospital discharge among out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients.

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  • 1Center for Prehospital Medicine, Charlotte, NC, USA.



The benefit of prehospital endotracheal intubation (ETI) among individuals experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA) has not been fully examined. The objective of this study was to determine if prehospital ETI attempts were associated with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival to discharge among individuals experiencing OOHCA.


This retrospective study included individuals who experienced a medical cardiac arrest between July 2006 and December 2008 and had resuscitation efforts initiated by paramedics from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Outcome variables were prehospital ROSC and survival to hospital discharge, while the primary independent variable was the number of prehospital ETI attempts.


There were 1,142 cardiac arrests included in the analytic data set. Prehospital ROSC occurred in 299 individuals (26.2%). When controlling for initial arrest rhythm and other confounding variables, individuals with no ETI attempted were 2.33 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.63 to 3.33) times more likely to have ROSC compared to those with one successful ETI attempt. Of the 299 individuals with prehospital ROSC, 118 (39.5%) were subsequently discharged alive from the hospital. Individuals having no ETI were 5.46 (95% CI = 3.36 to 8.90) times more likely to be discharged from the hospital alive compared to individuals with one successful ETI attempt.


Results from these analyses suggest a negative association between prehospital ETI attempts and survival from OOHCA. In this study, the individuals most likely to have prehospital ROSC and survival to hospital discharge were those who did not have a reported ETI attempt. Further comparative research should assess the potential causes of the demonstrated associations.

2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

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