Background: Securing definitive airway with minimal complications is a challenging task for high-volume emergency departments (ED) that deal with patients with compromised airway. Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective observational study between September 2019 and March 2020. Cohort of adults presenting to the ED requiring rapid sequence induction (RSI) were recruited to determine the prevalence and risk factors for the development of aspiration pneumonia(AP) in patients intubated in the ED. Results: During the study period, a total of 154 patients with a mean age of 44.5 years required RSI in the ED. Male (61%) predominance was noted among the study cohorts. We did not find any association between RSI performed in the ED and the risk of developing AP. The first attempt success rate of RSI was 76.7%, and 33(21.4%) patients had immediate adverse events following RSI. Rescue intubation was required for 11(7.1%) patients. The prevalence of AP following RSI in the ED was 13.4%. Endotracheal tube (ET) aspirate pepsin was positive in 45(29.2%) samples collected. The ET aspirate pepsin assay had low sensitivity (44.44%), specificity (73.53%), positive predictive value (18%), and negative predictive value (91%) in predicting the occurrence of AP. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, male gender (AOR: 7.29, 95%CI: 1.51–35.03, p = 0.013) and diabetes mellitus (AOR: 3.75, 95%CI: 1.23–11.51, p = 0.02) were found to be independent risk factors for developing AP. Conclusion: We identified male gender and diabetes mellitus to be independent predictors of risk of developing AP after RSI in the ED. ET aspirate pepsin levels proved to be neither sensitive nor specific in the diagnosis of AP.
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