JOURNAL ARTICLE

The knowledge of Cormack-Lehane intubation grade and intensive care unit outcome

Vinodh B Nanjayya, Christopher J Hebel, Patrick J Kelly, Jason McClure, David Pilcher
Journal of the Intensive Care Society 2020, 21 (1): 48-56
32284718

Background: For patients on invasive mechanical ventilation (MV), it is unclear if knowledge of intubation grade influences intensive care unit (ICU) outcome. We aimed to determine if there was an independent relationship between knowledge of intubation grade during ICU admission and in-hospital mortality.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients receiving invasive MV at the Alfred ICU between December 2011 and February 2015. Demographics, details of admission, the severity of illness, chronic health status, airway detail (unknown or known Cormack-Lehane (CL) grade), MV duration and in-hospital mortality data were collected. Univariable and multivariable analyses were conducted to assess the relationship. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality, and the secondary outcome was the duration of MV.

Results: Amongst 3556 patients studied, 611 (17.2%) had an unknown CL grade. Unadjusted mortality was higher in patients with unknown CL grade compared to known CL grade patients (21.6% vs. 9.9%). After adjusting for age, sex, severity of illness, type of ICU admission, cardiac arrest, limitations to treatment and diagnosis, having an unknown CL grade during invasive MV was independently associated with an increase in mortality (adjusted OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.14-1.98, p  < 0.01).

Conclusion: Amongst ICU patients receiving MV, not knowing CL grade appears to be independently associated with increased mortality. This information should be communicated and documented in all patients receiving MV in ICU.

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