Prehosp Disaster Med 2020 Apr 24;35(2):128-132. Epub 2020 Jan 24.
Mexico City's Health Secretariat, Emergency Medical Regulation Center, Mexico City, Mexico.
Introduction: In Mexico, physicians have become part of public service prehospital care. Head injured patients are a sensitive group that can benefit from early advanced measures to protect the airway, with the objective to reduce hypoxia and maintain normocapnia.
Problem: The occurrence of endotracheal intubation to patients with severe head injuries by prehospital physicians working at Mexico City's Service of Emergency Medical Care (SAMU) is unknown.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of five-year data (2012-2016) from Mexico City's Medical Emergencies Regulation Center was performed. Only SAMU ambulance services were analyzed. Adult patients with a prehospital diagnosis of head injury based on mechanism of injury and physical examination with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
Results: A total of 293 cases met the inclusion criteria; the mean GCS was five points. Of those, 150 (51.1%) patients were intubated. There was no difference in the occurrence of intubation among the different GCS scales, or if the patient was considered to have isolated head trauma versus polytrauma. Fifteen patients were intubated using sedation and neuromuscular blockage. Four patients were intubated with sedation alone and six patients with neuromuscular blockage alone. One patient was intubated using opioid analgesia, sedation, and neuromuscular blockage.
Conclusions: Patients with severe head injuries cared by prehospital physicians in Mexico City were intubated 51.1% of the time and were more likely to be intubated without the assistance of anesthetics.