The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Susan Rinaldo-Gallo1, Robert S. Slonac1, Janice J. Thalman1

Background: Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) have performed endotracheal intubations at our institution for the past 40 years. As presented previously, the success rate for intubations by RCPs from 1993 - 2003 was 99%1. We have performed 700 - 800 intubations each year since last reported in 2003. These intubations were performed out side of the operating room, on an emergency or elective basis. Although RCPs are the primary intubators, physicians and other health care professionals (HCPs) have privileges allowing them to intubate. We decided to take a closer look at the RCP completion rate as compared to others.

Methods: Our policy states that a Respiratory Care Supervisor must be present at all intubations performed. The supervisors were asked to complete a summary of each intubation using a standard format. The information gathered was; the number of attempts made, sequence of providers making attempts, and if the intubations occurred during a cardiac arrest. This information was collected from October 1, 2005 - June 30, 2007 (21 months).

Results: Forms were completed on 952 intubations. This represents 40% of the total intubations performed during this period. 16 patients were intubated by others following initial attempts by RCPs. Therefore, the completion rate for intubations by RCPs was 99.98%. There were 124 patients who were intubated by RCPs following initial attempts by others. The number of intubations that took place during cardiac arrests were 211 (22%). The detailed results are shown below.

Conclusion: RCPs successfully intubated with fewer attempts than other HCPs providing endotracheal tracheal intubations. This may be due to centralization of this service that enables a large number of intubations to be performed by RCPs,therefore, allowing more opportunity for skills maintenance.

1. Davies JD, et. al. Intubations Performed by Respiratory Care Practitioners: A Ten Year Analysis, AARC abstract presentation 2004.