Introduction: Early intubation is one of the critical issues in patients with chest trauma. This study aimed to examine the effect of early intubation on outcomes of patients with severe blunt chest trauma.
Methods: This clinical trial was performed on patients with blunt chest trauma referring to emergency department. Patients were randomly divided to intervention (early intubation) and control (supportive care) groups and the duration of hospitalization, complete recovery rate, laboratory changes, and in hospital mortality were compared between the two groups.
Results: 64 cases were divided into two equal groups of early intubation and control. There were no significant differences between two groups regarding age (p=0.36), sex (p=0.26), type of trauma (p>0.05), and comorbid diseases (p>0.05). The duration of hospitalization in the early intubation group was significantly lower than that of the control group (p = 0.01). 90.6% of those in early intubation group and 68.8% of those in the control group showed complete recovery (p = 0.03). There was no case of mortality in either group. There was a significant difference in venous blood pH between the groups at 6, 12, 18 and 24 hours after intubation (p < 0.05). Also, there was a significant difference in the HCO3 level at 6 and 12 hours after intubation (p <0.05).Conclusion: Early intubation is better than supportive treatment in patients with severe chest trauma because of a better complete recovery rate, lower duration of hospitalization, and better acid/base situation.
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