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Am J Emerg Med. 2011 Jul;29(6):639-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2010.01.013. Epub 2010 May 1.

Incidence of desaturation during prehospital rapid sequence intubation in a physician-based helicopter emergency service.

Author information

1
The Air Ambulance Department, Oslo University Hospital, Nordbyhagen, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hypoxemia may occur during rapid sequence intubation (RSI). This study establishes the incidence of this adverse event in patients intubated by physicians in a helicopter emergency service in Norway.

METHODS:

This was a prospective, observational study of all RSIs performed by helicopter emergency service physicians during a 12-month period. Hypoxemia was defined as a decrease in Spo(2) values to below 90% or a decrease of more than 10% if the initial Spo(2) was less than 90%.

RESULTS:

A total of 122 prehospital intubations were performed during the study period. Spo(2) data were available for 101 (82.8%) patients. Hypoxemia was present in 11 (10.9%) patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Prehospital, RSI-related hypoxemia rates in this study are lower than reported rates in similar studies and are comparable with in-hospital rates. Prehospital RSI may accordingly be considered a safe procedure when performed by experienced physicians with appropriate field training.

PMID:
20825848
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajem.2010.01.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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