Proficiency of Pediatric Residents in Performing Neonatal Endotracheal Intubation

Alison J. Falck, Marilyn B. Escobedo, Jacques G. Baillargeon, Lisa G. Villard, John H. Gunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Objective. Current guidelines of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education have restricted the amount of intensive care experience obtained during pediatric residency. The impact on performing procedures has not been evaluated. To determine the current level of competency in 1 common procedure, we investigated the proficiency of pediatric residents in performing neonatal endotracheal intubation during the academic years 1998-1999 and 2000-2001. Methods. Indication for intubation, number of attempts, and achievement of success were recorded by the respiratory therapist present for the procedure. Each intubation was scored according to the attempt on which intubation was successful. Indications for intubation were categorized as respiratory failure, delivery room resuscitation, and meconium-stained amniotic fluid. Competency was defined as a successful intubation occurring on the first or second attempt ≥280% of the time. Intubation scores were compared between residents at various stages of training and analyzed by multivariate logistic regression analysis for significance. Comparisons were then performed to determine percentage success with confidence intervals. We also surveyed previous graduates of the training program not included in the observations for this study and asked them to indicate how frequently they perform intubation in current practice and to assess their own competence in the procedure. Results. A total of 449 resident procedures were observed during the study periods: 192 by postgraduate year 1 (PGY-1) residents, 126 by PGY-2 residents, and 131 by PGY-3 residents. A total of 35% (160 of 449) of intubation procedures were never successful by pediatric house officers. Intubation was successful on the first or second attempt for 50% of PGY-1 residents (95% confidence interval [CI]: 42.6-56.8), 55% of PGY-2 residents (95% CI: 46-63.5), and 62% of PGY-3 residents (95% CI: 53.9-70.7). The third-year residents exhibited a significantly higher likelihood of performing a successful intubation compared with first-year residents. The first-year residents in 1998-1999 showed no improvement by their third year in 2000-2001. Surveys were sent to 56 graduates of our residency program (1998-2000). Completed surveys were received from 31 (66%) of 47. A total of 71% of the respondents are practicing general pediatrics, and 36% attend deliveries or perform intubations. A total of 87% reported that their level of confidence with endotracheal intubation was good or excellent after completion of residency training. Conclusions. We provide objective and subjective data concerning the proficiency of pediatric residents in performing neonatal endotracheal intubation. None of our resident groups met the specified definition of technical competence, although there was improvement with advancing training level in bivariate analyses. However, graduates of our training program felt confident with their intubation skills in contrast to our objective findings. As exposure to these important skills becomes limited, methods to ensure attainment of technical competency during training may need to be redefined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1247
Number of pages6
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Intubation
  • Neonatal resuscitation
  • Residency education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Proficiency of Pediatric Residents in Performing Neonatal Endotracheal Intubation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this