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Apneic oxygenation reduces hypoxemia during endotracheal intubation in the pediatric emergency department

Adam A Vukovic, Holly R Hanson, Shelley L Murphy, Danielle Mercurio, Craig A Sheedy, Donald H Arnold
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2018 April 18

BACKGROUND: Apneic oxygenation (AO) has been evaluated in adult patients as a means of reducing hypoxemia during endotracheal intubation (ETI). While less studied in pediatric patients, its practice has been largely adopted.

OBJECTIVE: Determine association between AO and hypoxemia in pediatric patients undergoing ETI.

METHODS: Observational study at an urban, tertiary children's hospital emergency department. Pediatric patients undergoing ETI were examined during eras without (January 2011-June 2011) and with (August 2014-March 2017) apneic oxygenation. The primary outcome was hypoxemia, defined as pulse oximetry (SpO2 ) < 90%. The χ2 and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests examined differences between cohorts. Multivariable regression models examined adjusted associations between covariates and hypoxemia.

RESULTS: 149 patients were included. Cohorts were similar except for greater incidence of altered mental status in those receiving AO (26% vs. 7%, p = 0.03). Nearly 50% of the pre-AO cohort experienced hypoxemia during ETI, versus <25% in the AO cohort. Median [IQR] lowest SpO2 during ETI was 93 (69, 99) for pre-AO and 100 [95, 100] for the AO cohort (p < 0.001). In a multivariable logistic regression model, hypoxemia during ETI was associated with AO (aOR 0.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1-0.8), increased age (for 1 year, aOR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7-1.0), lowest SpO2 before ETI (for 1% increase, aOR 0.9, 95% CI 0.8-1.0), and each additional intubation attempt (aOR 4.0, 95% CI 2.2-7.2).

CONCLUSIONS: Apneic oxygenation is an easily-applied intervention associated with decreases in hypoxemia during pediatric ETI. Nearly 50% of children not receiving AO experienced hypoxemia.


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