Practice of Intubation of the Critically Ill at Mayo Clinic

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Objective:To describe the practice of intubation of the critically ill at a single academic institution, Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minnesota, and to report the incidence of immediate postintubation complications.Patients and Methods:Critically ill adult (≥18 years) patients admitted to a medical–surgical intensive care unit from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, who required endotracheal intubation included.Results:The final cohort included 420 patients. The mean age at intubation was 62.9 ± 16.3 years, with 58% (244) of the cohort as male. The most common reason for intubation was respiratory failure (282 [67%]). The most common airway device used was video laryngoscopy (204 [49%]). Paralysis was used in 264 (63%) patients, with ketamine as the most common sedative (194 [46%]). The most common complication was hypotension (170 [41%]; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 35.7-45.3) followed by hypoxemia (74 [17.6%]; 95% CI: 14.1-21.6), with difficult intubation occurring in 20 (5%; 95% CI: 2.9-7.3).Conclusion:We found a high success rate of first-pass intubation in critically ill patients (89.8%), despite the procedure being done primarily by trainees 92.6% of the time; video was the preferred method of laryngoscopy (48.6%). Although our difficult intubation (4.8%) and complication rates typically associated with the act of intubation such as aspiration (1.2%; 95% CI: 0.4-2.8) and esophageal intubation (0.2%; 95% CI: 0.01-1.3) are very low compared to other published rates (8.09%), postintubation hypotension (40.5%) and hypoxemia (17.6%) higher.

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