Download PDFPDF
The association of paramedic rapid sequence intubation and survival in out-of-hospital stroke
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

Jump to comment:

  • Published on:
    Prehospital rapid sequence intubation is not uncommon in unconscious stroke
    • Pieter F. Fouche, Paramedic Monash University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Paul A. Jennings, Clinical Manager
      • Malcolm Boyle, Academic Lead in Paramedic Education
      • Stephen Bernard, Medical Director
      • Karen Smith, Director of Research

    We thank Drs Gibson, Jones and Watkins for their interest in our paper and for pointing out that our statement that RSI is commonly used by paramedics may be incorrectly interpreted by readers. We agree that whilst RSI for traumatic and non-traumatic causes of coma are common in paramedic practice, it cannot be inferred that paramedic RSI is common in stroke. It would have been more accurate to say that paramedic RSI is not uncommon in stroke patients that are unconscious. In our dataset of 38,352 strokes 3,374 had an initial Glasgow Coma Scale of less than nine, of which 627 (18.6%) received RSI by our paramedics, but this was not reported in our paper. In our opinion, 18.6 % paramedic RSI in unconscious patients would qualify as common use of RSI.

    Alternatively, we could have stated that the emergency use of intubation techniques such as RSI in the stroke patient is common. In our recent systematic review and meta-analysis it was demonstrated that emergency department and prehospital intubation via methods such as RSI is commonplace in strokes.1 This review shows that emergency endotracheal intubation was used in 79% of haemorrhagic, and 6% of ischemic strokes. In a sensitivity analysis, the removal of a large influential study raised the prevalence of intubation in ischaemic strokes to 25%. We argue that most of these intubations were RSI, and we can therefore conclude that RSI in the emergency setting for strokes is frequent.

    Ultimately we agree with...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Rapid sequence intubation (RSI) is uncommon in prehospital stroke care
    • Josephine M E Gibson, Reader in Health Services Research; Senior Research Fellow University of Central Lancashire; NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, North West Coast
    • Other Contributors:
      • Stephanie P Jones, Senior Research Fellow
      • Caroline L Watkins, Professor of Stroke and Older People's Care

    As researchers with an interest in pre-hospital stroke care, we read this paper with interest, but also with some surprise at the authors’ assertion that ‘RSI is commonly used by paramedics in stroke’. On examining the cited studies and the authors’ own findings more closely, this statement is hard to justify. Although Meyer et al did indeed report that 55% of out-of-hospital haemorrhagic strokes received RSI, this actually refers to a retrospective chart review of 20 children, all of whom with a Glasgow Coma Scale ≤ 8 following acute haemorrhagic stroke from a cerebral arteriovenous malformation rupture. This small, selective paediatric sample cannot be held to be representative of all stroke patients who are conveyed to hospital by emergency medical services. The other study cited as evidence found that people with acute stroke form a substantial proportion (36.6%) of RSIs undertaken by paramedics (Fouche et al., 2017). Whilst stroke may be a common reason for paramedic RSI, it cannot therefore be inferred that paramedic RSI is common in stroke. The authors’ own findings bear this out: of their sample of nearly 44,000 stroke patients conveyed by the emergency medical services, only 2% had received paramedic RSI.

    Whilst we congratulate the authors on their comprehensive analysis of this large dataset, it is important that readers do not gain the impression that paramedic RSI is frequently indicated and performed in pre-hospital stroke care.

    Disclaimer: JG an...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.