, according to data presented at the Critical Care Congress, sponsored by the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
A multicenter, published simultaneously in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, randomized 401 critically-ill patients in the ICU who were undergoing tracheal intubation to receive either ventilation with a bag-mask device during induction for intubation or no ventilation.
The median lowest oxygen saturation between induction and 2 minutes after intubation was 96% in the bag-mask ventilated patients and 93% in the no-ventilation group, representing a 4.7% difference after adjusting for prespecified covariates (P = .01).
In a post-hoc analysis that adjusted for other factors such as the provision of preoxygenation, the preoxygenation device, pneumonia, and gastrointestinal bleeding, there was a 5.2% difference between the two groups in median lowest oxygen saturation, favoring the bag-mask group.
Bag-mask ventilation was also associated with almost a halving in the incidence of severe hypoxemia – defined as an oxygen saturation below 80% – compared with no-ventilation (10.9% vs. 22.8%; relative risk = 0.48). There was also a lower incidence of patients with an oxygen saturation below 90% and below 70% in the bag-mask ventilation group, compared with the no-ventilation group.
Overall, the median decrease in oxygen saturation from induction to the lowest point was 1% in the bag-mask group, and 5% in the no-ventilation group.
The study saw no effects of factors such as body-mass index, operator experience, or Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) score. The patients had a median age of 60 years, about half had sepsis or septic shock, and close to 60% had hypoxemic respiratory failure as an indication for tracheal intubation.