The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2004 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

INTUBATION PERFORMED BY RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONERS: A TEN YEAR ANALYSIS



John D Davies RRT; Michael A Gentile RRT; Janice J Thalman RRT FAARC: Neil R MacIntyre MD FAARC, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.


BACKGROUND: Endotracheal intubation (ETI) is an invasive and potentially life saving procedure. A centralized service with well trained practitioners and continuous monitoring can provide an effective airway service. For more than thirty-five years ETI has been performed by Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP’s) at our institution. We report the retrospective data for the last ten years.

METHODS: Data were collected during the ten year span of 1993-2003 through the use of designated airway forms. The information collected on these forms was then entered into a central database. The intubations took place in all areas of the hospital and included cardiac arrests. From 1993-1994 the RCS department completion rate was not followed. Also, during that time frame, the clinical definition of an intubation attempt was changed from a visualization to an actual passage of an endotracheal tube through the oropharynx.

RESULTS: From 1993-2003 RCP’s averaged 868 intubations per year. The RCP completion rate has improved on a steady basis to 96%. The RCS department completion rate has remained at 99% for 1995-2003.


Year Intubations Attempts RT Completion Rate RCS Dept Completion Rate
1993 792 888 89%  
1994 825 908 91%  
1995 773 832 93% 99% (773/784)
1996 846 931 91% 99% (846/863)
1997 816 886 92% 99% (816/825)
1998 968 1026 94% 99% (968/971)
1999 901 954 94% 99% (901/904)
2000 930 986 94% 99% (930/935)
2001 1015 1060 96% 99% (1015/1020)
2002 895 932 96% 99% (895/899)
2003 781 810 96% 99% 781/784)

CONCLUSION: An airway service provided by a Respiratory Care Department can assure competent non-physician providers, centralized monitoring for performance tracking and improvement, a 99% completion rate and an overall effective service.