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November 21, 1977

Endotracheal Intubation

JAMA. 1977;238(21):2264-2265. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280220032011

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To the Editor.—  Stauffer and Petty recently reported "Accidental Intubation of the Pyriform Sinus" (237:2324, 1977). The authors concluded that their communication "underscores the need for improved training and skill in performing endotracheal intubation." While I completely agree with this statement, I wish the authors had stressed that it is rarely necessary to intubate a patient at the "roadside." The vast majority of these patients can be handled very easily and safely with an oral airway and an emergency resuscitation.I am well aware that Thomas Petty, MD, is an authority in the field, and I only wish he had taken the opportunity to use his stature to do a little "preaching" on unnecessary intubation. We have had similar complications in our county and are currently making an effort to review all intubations done by emergency medical technicians to make sure that they really were justified in their intubation attempts.