The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE ROLE OF THE RESPIRATORY THERAPIST IN DECREASING INTUBATION TIME DURING CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST

Earnestine Mikki Thompson RRT MS, Alexander Martinez RN. South Miami Hospital, Miami Florida.

Background:
Respiratory therapists (RTs) play an important role in airway management during cardiopulmonary arrest. As part of our role at South Miami Hospital, Miami, Florida, there are several therapist certified in intubations with one of the criteria for being ACLS certified. All intubations performed by RTs are tracked and evaluated for proficiency and performance. After several years of > 95% success rate of intubations performed by RTs, we continued to look for a process to improve.

Method: We identified a method of tracking time via the National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (NRCPR) and our hospital wide cardiopulmonary resuscitation committee, in which the respiratory director acts as chairperson. After reviewing the data, we identified an opportunity for performance improvement with intubation times. First, we identified throughout the hospital who intubates and it showed that most were performed by RTs. (According to 94 events identified from Pulmonary Division Airway Intubation Record: Jan-Dec 2001 intubations: RT - 91, physician -1, unknown - 2 = 97%))

Interventions: After review of data collected, we increased staff awareness (RTs and nurses) of the Performance Improvement (PI) project and results via department meetings and committee reports. We performed hospital wide mock codes and demonstrations, stressing the need to improve intubation time.

RESULTS:
We tracked results a year later with NRCPR data, with the following

RESULTS: Jan-Dec 2001, our median intubation time was 7 minutes compared to 5 minutes of national comparison. At 2002, we decreased intubation time by 2 minutes. We continue to monitor results with NRCPR and continue to provide information to the staff regarding how they are doing. (See graph)

CONCLUSION:
RTS have a definte role in increasing intubation time, performance and creating an area of improved quality of care, patient safety and professional satisfaction.

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