Endotracheal Intubation for Toxicologic Exposures: A Retrospective Review of Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Cases

Gillian A. Beauchamp, Robert Hendrickson, Benjamin W. Hatten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Endotracheal intubation remains a cornerstone of early resuscitation of the poisoned patient, but little is known about which substances are associated with intubation. Objectives Our objective was to describe patient exposures to substances reported to the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) that were managed with intubation between 2010 and 2014. Methods We performed a retrospective review of cases managed with endotracheal intubation in the ACMT ToxIC Registry from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014. Descriptive statistics were used to describe patient exposures. Results A total of 2724 exposures to substances were managed with endotracheal intubation. Intubated patients were 52% male and 82% adults. For all ages taken together, the most common known single-substance exposures managed with intubation were sedative hypnotics (9.8%), antidepressants (8.7%), and opioids (8.0%). The most common single ingestions associated with intubation in various age groups were: opioids (<2 years old), alpha-2 agonists (2–6 years old), antidepressants (7–18 years old), sedative-hypnotics (19–65 years old), and cardiac medications (>65 years old). Multiple substances were involved in 29.0% of exposures. Decontamination and elimination processes were used in 12.8% of patients. Conclusions The most common substances involved in single- and multiple-substance exposures managed with intubation varied by age group. Most patients were managed with supportive care. Knowledge of substances commonly involved in exposures managed with intubation may inform triage and resource planning in the emergency department resuscitation of critically ill poisoned patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-388.e11
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • airway management
  • drug overdose
  • endotracheal intubation
  • poisoning
  • resuscitation
  • toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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