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Ann Emerg Med. 1993 Jul;22(7):1119-24.

Five-year experience in prehospital intraosseous infusions in children and adults.

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Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.



To evaluate the ability of emergency medical technician-paramedic (EMT-P) units to become and remain proficient in the performance of the intraosseous infusion procedure.


Descriptive nonrandomized trial open to all patients meeting protocol criteria over a five-year period; prehospital urban and suburban area with a population of 951,000.


One hundred fifty-two consecutive patients (age range, newborn to 102 years) who had intraosseous infusion line placement attempted by EMT-Ps.


Jamshidi sternal intraosseous infusion needle placed in the proximal tibia bone marrow in patients requiring emergency vascular access for fluid and/or medication administration.


EMT-Ps performed 165 attempts on 152 patients with a five-year success rate of 76% per patient and 70% per attempt. Success rates per patient age group were 78%, 0 to 11 months; 85%, 1 to 2 years; 67%, 3 to 9 years; and 50%, 10 years or older. Success rates were significantly higher in children 3 years old compared with children and adults 3 or more years old (P = .04). Proficiency was maintained over the five-year study period. Infiltration was the most common complication, occurring in 14 patients (12%). Errors in landmark identification and needle bending were the most frequent identifiable causes for unsuccessful attempts. Evidence of clinical response to fluid or medication infused was noted in 28 patients (24%).


EMT-P units can successfully perform the intraosseous infusion line procedure in patients of all ages. Proficiency is maintained over time despite its infrequent use by individual EMT-Ps.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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