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Prehosp Emerg Care. 2009 Jul-Sep;13(3):311-5. doi: 10.1080/10903120902935231.

Review of endotracheal intubations by Ottawa advanced care paramedics in Canada.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



In the last several years, the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has called for better reporting on prehospital endotracheal intubation (ETI) and has provided guidelines and tools for better systematic review. We sought to evaluate the success of prehospital, non-drug-assisted ETI performed by Ottawa advanced care paramedics (ACPs) based on those guidelines.


A retrospective review was conducted on ETI performed by Ottawa ACPs over a 25-month period to determine the overall success rate of ETI. To qualify our results, descriptive analysis was conducted on demographic data. The relationships between success rate, patient demographic data, and preintubation conditions were examined.


Overall success rate of ACP prehospital, non-drug-assisted ETI was 82.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 79.6, 84.3), representing a decreased value in comparison with the 90.7% of the previous study (p < 0.001). The study population comprised 1,029 intubated patients, the majority being adults (98.4%), with a mean age of 65.4 years (standard deviation [SD] 18.4). ETIs were successful for 64.6% (95% CI: 61.7, 67.5) of the first attempts; 79% of successful intubations were achieved within two attempts. ETI achievement was correlated with patients' age, with patients designated as vital signs absent (VSA), with those having a preintervention Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 3, and with those who were orally intubated (p < 0.05). Gender, weight, the nature (medical and trauma) of patient types, and locations of ambulance calls were found not to be related to the overall intubation success.


This study reported the success rate of non-drug-assisted, prehospital ETI by ACPs in the Ottawa region. Our findings emphasize the importance of quality assessment for individual emergency medical services systems, to ensure optimum performance in ETI practice over time, and for intubation skill-retention training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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