Study objective: Apneic oxygenation has been advocated for the prevention of hypoxemia during emergency endotracheal intubation. Because of conflicting results from recent trials, the efficacy of apneic oxygenation remains unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the effect of apneic oxygenation on the incidence of clinically significant hypoxemia during emergency endotracheal intubation.
Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed databases were searched without language and time restrictions for studies of apneic oxygenation performed in a critical care setting. Meta-analysis was conducted with a random-effect model, and according to intention-to-treat allocation wherever applicable. Subgroup analyses were performed to ensure the robustness of findings across various clinical outcomes.
Results: Eight studies (n=1953) were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled absolute risk of clinically significant hypoxemia was 27.6% in the usual care group and 19.1% in the apneic oxygenation group, without any heterogeneity across studies (I2=0%; p=0.42). Apneic oxygenation reduced the relative risk of hypoxemia by 30% (95% confidence interval 0.59 to 0.82). There was a trend toward lower mortality in the apneic oxygenation group (relative risk of death 0.77; 95% confidence interval 0.59 to 1.02).
Conclusion: Apneic oxygenation significantly reduces the incidence of hypoxemia during emergency endotracheal intubation. These findings support the inclusion of apneic oxygenation in everyday clinical practice.
Keywords: Airway management; Apneic oxygenation; Crash intubation; Oxygenation; Rapid sequence intubation.
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