A review of indications for endotracheal intubation in a private emergency centre in Pretoria
There is no clear list of indications for endotracheal intubation in the emergency centre. Current indications are derived from studies done in other disciplines, such as anaesthesiology (1, 2). The emergency centre is unique due to the presence of clinically undifferentiated patients as well as the urgency accompanying the management of critically ill or injured patients. A consensus statement for South African emergency centres was developed using a modified Delphi approach. The statement makes recommendations for a list of indications for endotracheal intubation in the emergency centre. This retrospective record review looks at indications used for endotracheal intubation in a private emergency centre during 2006. These indications were then measured against the consensus document derived from indications suggested by experts. The study evaluated 183 critically ill or injured patients during the study period of which 56 were intubated. Of all the critically ill or injured patients, only three were not intubated that should have been, according to the consensus document. The study found that the emergency doctors in the specific emergency centre used similar indications to intubate as suggested by the consensus document.
M.Sc. (Med.), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 2011