Outcomes After Prehospital Endotracheal Intubation in Suburban/Rural Pediatric Trauma

Russell B. Hawkins, Steven L. Raymond, Harold C. Hamann, Janice A. Taylor, Moiz M. Mustafa, Saleem Islam, Shawn D. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Trauma is the leading cause of death in pediatric patients over 1 y of age. Controversy exists regarding prehospital airway management for these patients, with some studies suggesting that endotracheal intubation in the field or at a referring hospital is associated with increased mortality and complication rate. These studies were largely performed at urban centers, and it is unclear whether the results apply to suburban/rural networks with longer transport times and more stops at referring hospitals. The purpose of this study is to evaluate differential outcomes in pediatric trauma patients who underwent endotracheal intubation at the scene of injury, referring hospital, or pediatric trauma center in a predominantly rural/suburban setting. Materials and methods: A retrospective review was performed evaluating trauma patients age 18 y or younger at a single institution over 10 y (2004-2014). Patients were selected who underwent endotracheal intubation and were classified based on location of intubation (scene, referring hospital, or trauma center). Fischer's exact test and t-tests were performed for comparison. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed. Results: 288 patients were identified. 155 (53.8%) were intubated at the scene of injury, 55 (19.1%) at a referring hospital, and 72 (25%) at the trauma center. Overall mortality was 21.9%, which was highest in the scene intubation group (29.7%) compared with the referring hospital (20%) and trauma center (5.6%) groups (P < 0.01). Patients intubated at the scene had higher Injury Severity Scores and lower Glasgow Coma Scale scores (P < 0.01). Duration of intubation was lowest in the trauma center group (P < 0.01). Complication rate was highest in the referring hospital group (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that age, injury severity, and neurologic status were the key drivers of mortality rather than location of intubation. Conclusions: Mortality and duration of intubation were lowest in trauma patients intubated at a pediatric trauma center. However, location of intubation was not a significant independent predictor of mortality or complications on multivariate analysis, suggesting that age, injury severity, and neurologic status are the main indicators of prognosis in severe pediatric trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-144
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway
  • Intubation
  • Prehospital
  • Rural
  • Suburban


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcomes After Prehospital Endotracheal Intubation in Suburban/Rural Pediatric Trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this