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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 10(3); 1999 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1999;10(3): 379-385.
Current Trends in Emergency Tracheal Intubation and Prediction of Difficult Intubation in ED
Sung Pil Chung, Tai Ho Im, Wen Joen Chang, Seung Ho Kim, Hahn Shick Lee
BACKGROUND: This study was designed to describe the current tends of emergency tracheal intubation and predict difficult airway intubations in emergency department (ED) at a teaching hospital in Korea.
All patients who was taken endotracheal incubation in ED during a 1-year period (Mar 1997 through Feb 1998) were included in the study population. Medical records of the patients were retrospectively reviewed. Among them, 56 patients were prospectively evaluated parameters to predict difficult airway intubations.
During the study period, a total of 413 patients(1.5%) required endotracheal intubation. Except far 2 cases, all patients intubated orotracheally, and 298(72%) patients were intubated by emergency medicine resident. Pharmacologic adjuncts were used in 200(48%) patients, the neuromuscular blocking agent(NMBA) was used in 16(3.8%) Commonly used drugs were thiopental and vecuronium. The difficult incubation was not associated with presence of denture, length and circumference of neck, and mental status. The visibility of vocal cord on laryngoscopy significantly correlated to the difficult airway.
At this institution, the majority of ED incubation were performed by emergency physicians and NMBA was not routinely used. The visibility of vocal cord during the direct laryngoscopy could be a predictor of difficult incubation in ED.
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