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Associations of obesity with tracheal intubation success on first attempt and adverse events in the emergency department: An analysis of the multicenter prospective observational study in Japan

Hiromasa Yakushiji, Tadahiro Goto, Wataru Shirasaka, Yusuke Hagiwara, Hiroko Watase, Hiroshi Okamoto, Kohei Hasegawa
PloS One 2018, 13 (4): e0195938
Obesity is deemed to increase the risk of difficult tracheal intubation. However, there is a dearth of research that examines the relationship of obesity with intubation success and adverse events in the emergency department (ED). We analyzed the data from a prospective, observational, multicenter study-the Japanese Emergency Airway Network (JEAN) 2 study from 2012 through 2016. We included all adults (aged ≥18 years) who underwent tracheal intubation in the ED. Patients were categorized into three groups according to their body mass index (BMI): lean (<25.0 kg/m²), overweight (25.0-29.9 kg/m²), and obesity (≥30.0 kg/m²). Outcomes of interest were intubation success on the first attempt and intubation-related adverse events. Of 6,889 patients who are eligible for the analysis, 5,370 patients (77%) were lean, 1,177 (17%) were overweight, and 342 (4%) were obese. Compared to the lean patients, the intubation success rates were significantly lower in the overweight and obese patients (70.9% in lean, 66.4% in overweight, and 59.3% in obese patients; P<0.001). In the multivariable analysis, compared to the lean patients, overweight (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.85; 95%CI, 0.74-0.98) and obese (adjusted OR, 0.62; 95%CI, 0.49-0.79) patients had a significantly lower success rate on the first attempt. Additionally, obesity was significantly associated with a higher risk of adverse events (adjusted OR, 1.62; 95%CI, 1.23-2.13). Based on the data from a multicenter prospectively study, obesity was associated with a lower success rate on the first intubation attempt and a higher risk of adverse event in the ED.


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