Powered intraosseous insertion provides safe and effective vascular access for pediatric emergency patients

Mark A Horton, Cynthia Beamer
Pediatric Emergency Care 2008, 24 (6): 347-50

OBJECTIVE: For decades, intraosseous (IO) access has been a standard of care for pediatric emergencies in the absence of conventional intravenous access. After the recent introduction of a battery-powered IO insertion device (EZ-IO; Vidacare Corporation, San Antonio, TX), it was recognized that a clinical study was needed to demonstrate device safety and effectiveness for pediatric patients.

METHODS: We measured the insertion success rate, patient pain levels during insertion and infusion, insertion time, types of fluid and drugs administered, device ease of use on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult), and complications.

RESULTS: There were 95 eligible patients in the study; 56% were males. Mean patient age was 5.5 +/- 6.1 years. Successful insertion and infusion was achieved in 94% of the patients. Insertion time was 10 seconds or less in 77% of the one-attempt successful cases reporting time to insertion. There were 4 minor complications (4%), but none significant. For patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score >8, mean insertion pain score was 2.3 +/- 2.8, and mean infusion pain score was 3.2 +/- 3.5. The device was rated easy to use 71% of the time (n = 49) and the mean score was 1.4.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study support the use of the powered IO insertion device for fluid and drug delivery to children in emergency situations. The rare and minor complications suggest that the powered IO device is a safe and effective means of achieving vascular access in the resuscitation and stabilization of pediatric patients.

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