Importance: The optimal approach to airway management during in-hospital cardiac arrest is unknown.
Objective: To describe hospital-level variation in endotracheal intubation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for in-hospital cardiac arrest and the association between hospital use of endotracheal intubation and arrest survival.
Design, setting, participants: Retrospective cohort study of adult patients suffering in-hospital cardiac arrest at Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation participating hospitals between January, 2000, and December, 2016. Hospitals were categorized into quartiles based on the proportion of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients managed with endotracheal intubation during CPR. Risk-adjusted mixed models with random intercepts were created to assess the association between hospital quartile of in-hospital arrests managed with endotracheal intubation during CPR and survival to hospital discharge.
Exposure: Hospital rate of endotracheal intubation during CPR for in-hospital arrest MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Survival to hospital discharge RESULTS: Among 155,252 patients suffering in-hospital cardiac arrest at 656 hospitals, 69.7% of patients received endotracheal intubation during CPR and overall survival to discharge was 24.8%. At the hospital level, the median rate of endotracheal intubation use was 71.2% (interquartile range, 63.6 to 78.1%; range, 26.6 to 100%). We found a strong inverse association between hospital rate of endotracheal intubation and survival to discharge (risk-adjusted odds ratio comparing highest intubation quartile vs. lowest intubation quartile, 0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.74 to 0.90; p value < .001). This association was modified by the presence of respiratory failure prior to arrest (p for interaction < .001), and stratified analyses demonstrated lower patient survival at hospitals with higher rates of endotracheal intubation was limited to patients without respiratory failure prior to cardiac arrest.
Conclusion: In a national sample of patients suffering IHCA, the use of endotracheal intubation during CPR varied across hospitals. We found a strong inverse association between hospital use of endotracheal intubation during CPR and survival to discharge, but this association was confined to patients without respiratory failure prior to arrest. Identifying the optimal approach to airway management for in-hospital cardiac arrest may have a significant impact on patient survival.
Keywords: Cardiac arrest; Intubation; Resuscitation.