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Survival of trauma patients who have prehospital tracheal intubation without anaesthesia or muscle relaxants: observational study

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7305.141 (Published 21 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:141
  1. David Lockey (djl99@hotmail.com), fellow in prehospital care,
  2. Gareth Davies, consultant in accident and emergency and prehospital care,
  3. Tim Coats, senior lecturer
  1. Department of Accident and Emergency, Royal London Hospital, London E1 1BB
  1. Correspondence to: D Lockey

    In the United Kingdom, it is current practice for paramedics to perform tracheal intubation on trauma patients when the airway is compromised and basic airway manoeuvres have failed. Paramedics in Britain never use anaesthetic drugs or muscle relaxants to achieve intubation.

    Anecdotal experience shows that patients who can be intubated without the use of drugs have a poor prognosis. We investigated mortality in a population of trauma patients who were intubated before reaching hospital without anaesthetic drugs being used.

    Participants, methods, and results

    We looked retrospectively at the database of a helicopter emergency medical service staffed by doctors and paramedics that is specifically targeted at trauma patients in a mainly urban area. We identified patients who had been intubated without drugs by paramedics …

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