Training and evaluation of respiratory therapists in emergency intubation

Respir Care. 1981 Apr;26(4):333-5.


Endotracheal intubation in emergency situations is a recognized function of respiratory therapists, as defined by the American Association for Respiratory Therapy in 1973. A training program based in the operating room, using one-on-one instruction, was the basis for a training program designed to meet JCAH standards for endotracheal intubation. To evaluate the success of our training and our system for attempting intubations, we recorded the results of 50 consecutive intubation attempts by our therapists. All 50 patients were eventually intubated, with 35 patients intubated on the first attempt. The average number of attempts per patient was 1.48. While 39 patients were intubated within one minute, 11 required more than one minute. In five patients, physicians had attempted intubation prior to a therapist's arrival; those intubations took eleven times longer than those that were attempted by therapists only. The average time for intubations attempted solely by therapists was 54 seconds.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Delaware
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / standards*
  • Respiratory Therapy / standards*
  • Resuscitation / standards
  • Time Factors