Introduction. Medications during rapid sequence intubation (RSI) have known detrimental side effects. Prehospital mechanical ventilation after successful endotracheal intubation also increases mortality due to hyperventilation and positive pressure ventilation. The aim of this retrospective analysis was to determine the impact of RSI on prehospital hemodynamic parameters and prehospital ventilation status on mortality rate and functional outcome in trauma patients.
Methods. Charts of 73 trauma patients, who underwent prehospital RSI over a 12-year period, were retrospectively reviewed. Prehospital vital signs, before and after RSI, were compared. Patients were divided, according to ventilation status, into three groups based on initial PaCO2: hypocarbic/hyperventilated (PaCO2<35mmHg), normocarbic/normoventilated (PaCO2 35-45 mmHg) and hypercarbic/hypoventilated (PaCO2>45mmHg).
Results. Seventy-three patients were enrolled in the retrospective analysis. There was a significant difference in respiratory rate (p=0.046), arterial oxygen saturation (p<0.001), mean arterial pressure (p<0.001) and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) (p<0.001) before and after RSI. GCS at discharge (p=0.003) and arterial oxygen saturation (p=0.05) were significantly higher in the normoventilated group. There was no significant difference in survival to hospital discharge among compared groups.
Conclusion. Our retrospective analysis suggests that prehospital RSI has no detrimental hemodynamic side effects and that normoventilation leads to a favorable neurological outcome.
Key words: intubation, prehospital, mechanical ventilation, trauma, hemodynamics