Effects of Not Intubating Non-Trauma Patients With Low Glasgow Coma Scale Scores: a Retrospective Study

Authors

  • Loui K Alsulimani Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Ohoud Baajlan Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Khalid Alghamdi
  • Raghad Alahmadi
  • Abdullah Bakhsh Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Jameel Abualenain Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.52609/jmlph.v2i1.41

Keywords:

Endotracheal intubation;, Intubation in the ED, Non-trauma patients with low Glasgow Coma Scale scores

Abstract

Background: Endotracheal intubation (EI) is a critical life-saving procedure commonly performed on emergency department (ED) patients who present with altered mental status (AMS). 

Aims: We aimed to investigate the safety of observing, without EI, patients who present to the ED with decreased levels of consciousness (LOC). 

Methods: We reviewed the data of all adult ED patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score ≤ 8, during the period between 2012 and 2018, in an academic tertiary care centre. Trauma patients were excluded. The patients were divided into two groups for comparison: those who were intubated and those who were not. Data on mortality, morbidity, and baseline clinical characteristics were collected and analysed. 

Results: After screening 6334 electronic medical records of patients presenting to the ED with decreased LOC, only 257 patients met the inclusion criteria. 173 (67.3%) patients were intubated, while 84 (32.7%) were not. Among the intubated patients, 165 (95.4%) were intubated early (within two hours of presentation). Mortality, morbidity and length of stay for the intubated group were higher, although the baseline clinical characteristics were the same. 

Conclusion: It might be safe to observe non-trauma emergency patients with a GCS score ≤ 8 without intubation. However, such decision should be taken carefully, as delayed intubation can be associated with higher mortality and morbidity

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Published

2022-01-01

How to Cite

Alsulimani, L. K., Baajlan, O. ., Alghamdi, K., Alahmadi, R. ., Bakhsh, A., & Abualenain, J. . (2022). Effects of Not Intubating Non-Trauma Patients With Low Glasgow Coma Scale Scores: a Retrospective Study. The Journal of Medicine, Law & Public Health, 2(1), 86–93. https://doi.org/10.52609/jmlph.v2i1.41

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Original Articles

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