The lost art of intubation: assessing opportunities for residents to perform neonatal intubation

J Perinatol. 2012 Dec;32(12):927-32. doi: 10.1038/jp.2012.17. Epub 2012 Mar 1.


Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the opportunities afforded to and competence of pediatric residents in performing neonatal endotracheal intubations.

Study design: The records of all intubations performed on neonates over a 3-year period at a university-based birthing hospital were reviewed to assess the relationships between outcomes, types of providers and the setting of intubations.

Result: A total of 785 attempts were made during 362 intubations. Pediatric residents were given the opportunity to intubate 38% of the cohort (n=137) and were successful on 21% of the attempts. Residents were more likely to perform intubation in the neonatal intensive care unit (vs delivery room; P<0.001), in non-emergency situations (P<0.001), and on older (P<0.001) and larger (P=0.07) infants.

Conclusion: Opportunities for residents to intubate neonates were few and their success rate was low. In the current care paradigm, it is doubtful if trainees can be sufficiently skilled in endotracheal intubation during residency. Residents that plan to pursue procedure-intensive subspecialties may benefit from other models for training.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • United States