Procedural Experience With Intubation: Results From a National Emergency Medicine Group

Jestin N. Carlson, MD, MS; Mark Zocchi, MPH; Karla Marsh; Chloe McCoy, MD, PhD; Jesse M. Pines, MD, MBA;
Adam Christensen, DO; Rebecca Kornas, MD; Arvind Venkat, MD*

Study objective

Although intubation is a commonly discussed procedure in emergency medicine, the number of opportunities for emergency physicians to perform it is unknown. We determine the frequency of intubation performed by emergency physicians in a national emergency medicine group.


Using data from a national emergency medicine group (135 emergency departments [EDs] in 19 states, 2010 to 2016), we determined intubation incidence per physician, including intubations per year, intubations per 100 clinical hours, and intubations per 1,000 ED patient visits. We report medians and interquartile ranges (IQRs) for estimated intubation rates among emergency physicians working in general EDs (those treating mixed adult and pediatric populations).


We analyzed 53,904 intubations performed by 2,108 emergency physicians in general EDs (53,265 intubations) and pediatric EDs (639 intubations). Intubation incidence varied among general ED emergency physicians (median 10 intubations per year; IQR 5 to 17; minimum 0, maximum 109). Approximately 5% of emergency physicians did not perform any intubations in a given year. During the study, 24.1% of general ED emergency physicians performed fewer than 5 intubations per year (range 21.2% in 2010 to 25.7% in 2016). Emergency physicians working in general EDs performed a median of 0.7 intubations per 100 clinical hours (IQR 0.3 to 1.1) and 2.7 intubations per 1,000 ED patient visits (IQR 1.2 to 4.6).


These findings provide insights into the frequency with which emergency physicians perform intubations.

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