Objective To determine whether the success rate of repeated attempts at tracheal intubation by a single intubator was lower than those by alternate intubators in the emergency department (ED).
Methods An analysis of data from a multicentre prospective registry (Japanese Emergency Airway Network Registry) of 13 academic and community EDs in Japan between April 2010 and August 2012. We included all adult and paediatric patients who underwent repeated attempts at tracheal intubation in the ED. We compared the intubation success rates at the second and third attempts between attempts at intubation by a single intubator who performed the previous attempts, and the attempts by alternate intubators.
Results We recorded 4094 patients (capture rate, 96%); 1289 patients with repeated attempts at tracheal intubation were eligible for this study. Among these, 871 patients (68%) had a second attempt at intubation by single intubators. At the second attempt, tracheal intubation by a single intubator was associated with a decreased success rate (adjusted odds ratio or AOR, 0.50; 95% CI 0.36 to 0.71), compared with alternate intubators. At the third attempt, intubation by a single intubator was also associated with a decreased success rate (58% vs 70%; unadjusted OR, 0.58; 95% CI 0.38 to 0.89). However, after adjustment for potential confounders, the association lost statistical significance (AOR, 0.89; 95% CI 0.52 to 1.56).
Conclusions In this large multicentre study of ED patients undergoing tracheal intubation, second attempts at intubation by a single intubator, compared with those by alternate intubators, were independently associated with a decreased success rate.
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