For patients being placed on a breathing machine, a breathing tube must be placed in the mouth. During placement of a breathing tube, low oxygen levels and low blood pressure may occur. Whether using a checklist prior to placing a breathing tube helps prevent these complications is unknown. Among 262 patients being placed on a breathing machine at 5 intensive care units across the United States, the CHECK-Up Trial compared use of a checklist to none with regard to the occurrence of low oxygen levels and low blood pressure. Use of a checklist did not prevent low oxygen levels or low blood pressure. These findings suggest that using a checklist prior to placing a breathing tube may not be helpful for doctors experienced at placing a breathing tube who work in an intensive care unit.
Background: Hypoxemia and hypotension are common complications during endotracheal intubation of critically ill adults. Verbal performance of a written, preintubation checklist may prevent these complications. We compared a written, verbally performed, preintubation checklist with usual care regarding lowest arterial oxygen saturation or lowest systolic BP experienced by critically ill adults undergoing endotracheal intubation.
Methods: A multicenter trial in which 262 adults undergoing endotracheal intubation were randomized to a written, verbally performed, preintubation checklist (checklist) or no preintubation checklist (usual care). The coprimary outcomes were lowest arterial oxygen saturation and lowest systolic BP between the time of procedural medication administration and 2 min after endotracheal intubation.
Results: The median lowest arterial oxygen saturation was 92% (interquartile range [IQR], 79-98) in the checklist group vs 93% (IQR, 84-100) with usual care (P = .34). The median lowest systolic BP was 112 mm Hg (IQR, 94-133) in the checklist group vs 108 mm Hg (IQR, 90-132) in the usual care group (P = .61). There was no difference between the checklist and usual care in procedure duration (120 vs 118 s; P = .49), number of laryngoscopy attempts (one vs one attempt; P = .42), or severe life-threatening procedural complications (40.8% vs 32.6%; P = .20).
Conclusions: The verbal performance of a written, preprocedure checklist does not increase the lowest arterial oxygen saturation or lowest systolic BP during endotracheal intubation of critically ill adults compared with usual care.
Trial registry: ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT02497729; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Keywords: adult; airway management; checklist; critical care; endotracheal; intubation; ventilation.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Manuscript Title: “A Multicenter Randomized Trial of a Checklist for Endotracheal Intubation of Critically Ill Adults.”