Background: Little is known about hypoxemia surrounding endotracheal intubation in the critically ill. Thus, we sought to identify risk factors associated with peri-intubation hypoxemia and its effects' on the critically ill.
Methods: Data from a multicenter, prospective, cohort study enrolling 1,033 critically ill adults who underwent endotracheal intubation across 16 medical/surgical ICUs in the United States from July 2015-January 2017 were used to identify risk factors associated with peri-intubation hypoxemia and its effects on patient outcomes. We defined hypoxemia as any pulse oximetry ≤ 88% during and up to 30 minutes following endotracheal intubation.
Results: In the full analysis (n = 1,033), 123 (11.9%) patients experienced the primary outcome. Five risk factors independently associated with our outcome were identified on multiple logistic regression: cardiac related reason for endotracheal intubation (OR 1.67, [95% CI 1.04, 2.69]); pre-intubation noninvasive ventilation (OR 1.66, [95% CI 1.09, 2.54]); emergency intubation (OR 1.65, [95% CI 1.06, 2.55]); moderate-severe difficult bag-mask ventilation (OR 2.68, [95% CI 1.72, 4.19]); and crystalloid administration within the preceding 24 hours (OR 1.24, [95% CI 1.07, 1.45]; per liter up to 4 liters). Higher baseline SpO2 was found to be protective (OR 0.93, [95% CI 0.91, 0.96]; per percent up to 97%). Consistent results were seen in a separate analysis on only stable patients (n = 921, 93 [10.1%]) (those without baseline hypoxemia ≤ 88%). Peri-intubation hypoxemia was associated with in-hospital mortality (OR 2.40, [95% CI 1.33, 4.31]; stable patients: OR 2.67, [95% CI 1.38, 5.17]) but not ICU length of stay (point estimate 0.9 days, [95% CI -1.0, 2.8 days]; stable patients: point estimate 1.5 days, [95% CI -0.4, 3.4 days]) after adjusting for age, body mass index, illness severity, airway related reason for intubation (i.e., acute respiratory failure), and baseline SPO2.
Conclusions: Patients with pre-existing noninvasive ventilation and volume loading who were intubated emergently in the setting of hemodynamic compromise with bag-mask ventilation described as moderate-severe were at increased risk for peri-intubation hypoxemia. Higher baseline oxygenation was found to be protective against peri-intubation hypoxemia. Peri-intubation hypoxemia was associated with in-hospital mortality but not ICU length of stay.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02508948 and Registered Report Identifier: RR2-10.2196/11101.
Keywords: critically ill; endotracheal intubation; hypoxemia; multicenter; prediction modeling; prospective study.