Respiratory care practitioners as primary providers of neonatal intubation in a community hospital: an analysis

Respir Care. 1995 Oct;40(10):1063-7.


Background: Respiratory care practitioners (RCPs) serve as the primary providers of neonatal endotracheal intubation (ETI) in our institution. ETIs are performed by registered respiratory therapists who have completed Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Neonatal Advanced Life Support training and have successfully completed 3 intubations under the direct supervision of a senior therapist. The purpose of this study was to (1) ascertain whether RCPs can successfully provide this type of service with acceptable complications rates and (2) survey the economic impact of this practice on patient charges in our hospital.

Evaluation methods: An analysis of each intubation event in which an RCP participated was collected and compiled over a 5-month period (9-94 to 2-95). Calculations were made of the success rate and complications.

Results: A total of 38 ETIs were performed by the RCPs. Of these, 37 (97.4%) were performed with < or = 3 attempts; (73.7% with 1 attempt, 15.8% with 2 attempts, and 7.9% with 3 attempts). In only 1 event were more than 3 attempts required. There were no complications observed.

Conclusion: RCPs can successfully serve as primary providers of neonatal ETI at a Level-II nursery in a community hospital, and this practice may result in a cost reduction.

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel / standards
  • Allied Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Data Collection
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Forms and Records Control
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Hospitals, Community* / standards
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / standards*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / standards*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiratory Therapy / education
  • Respiratory Therapy / standards*
  • Respiratory Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • School Admission Criteria
  • Workforce