Healthcare Industry News:  endotracheal tube 


 News Release - January 9, 2006

Intraosseous Vascular Access Finds Critical Role in Newly Revised Advanced Cardiac Life Support Guidelines

IO is Now the Recommended Alternative Route for Challenging IV Access in Adult Cardiac Arrest Patients

SAN ANTONIO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Jan. 9, 2006--The American Heart Association recently announced revised guidelines for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)(1) that now recommend intraosseous infusion (IO) as the first alternative to IV in cardiac arrest patients. Relied upon by paramedics, nurses and physicians, these guidelines strongly influence emergency procedures across the U.S. Compliance with the new ACLS protocols suggests that all cardiac arrest patients have an IV or an IO in place prior to arriving at the emergency department.

Previously, ACLS guidelines recommended delivering drugs through an endotracheal tube when an IV line could not be placed, a method that many EMS physicians believe ineffective. For the first time in American Heart Association (AHA) history, intraosseous vascular access for adults has been given Class IIa status, thereby recommending use of intraosseous infusion as the alternative of choice and confirming the scientific validity and safety of the IO route.

The intraosseous space is often referred to as a non-collapsible vein, remaining accessible even when peripheral veins collapse in cases of shock or trauma. Drugs and fluids infused via this route reach the central venous circulation within seconds.

Ray Fowler, M.D., deputy medical director of BioTel EMS system and member of the Eagles, a group of EMS directors of the 25 largest U.S. cities, said, "Until now we've had no choice but to use the endotracheal tube route. Now that we have an alternative in the form of rapid, safe and precise intraosseous access, the American Heart Association has appropriately adjusted its recommended treatment protocols for cardiac arrest patients."

According to Dr. Fowler, in addition to cardiac arrest patients, IO infusion may be particularly useful in patients such as those who are in shock or renal failure, in obese and diabetic patients, in cases of drug overdose, respiratory distress and in patients with altered mental status.

Summary of ACLS Guidelines for Establishing Vascular Access in Cardiac Arrest Patients:
  1. Establish IV or IO access for administration of cardiac drugs in cardiac arrest.

  2. Central lines are not needed in most CPR attempts.

  3. Adult IO cannulation provides venous access similar to that achieved by central venous access.

  4. Adult IO access is safe and effective, according to several trials cited in the guidelines.

  5. IO vascular access should be established if IV access is unavailable.

  6. IO drug administration is preferred over endotracheal (ET) tube administration. IO drug administration provides more predictable drug delivery and pharmacological effect.

  7. Throughout the ACLS protocols and algorithms, IO is paired with IV access and is recommended over central lines and ET tube drug administration for cases of cardiac arrest.
Vidacare's EZ-IO products, the EZ-IO AD (Adult) and the EZ-IO PD (Pediatric), have been cleared by the FDA for use in adult and pediatric patients respectively.


Since acquiring their innovative intraosseous technology from the University of Texas, Vidacare has orchestrated an exceptional effort to bring intraosseous infusion to the medical community to provide safe, fast and secure access in emergency medical situations and during routine clinical care. Vidacare has positioned itself as the leader in educating and providing the medical community with the means to use intraosseous space or bone marrow as a non-collapsible vein, through which emergency health professionals are better able to quickly administer life saving drugs and fluids and physicians are able to administer medicines or obtain samples. These systems offer the potential to establish new standards of clinical excellence in the safe, rapid institution of life-saving medical therapies. Headquartered in San Antonio, TX, the company was established in 2001. For more information visit

(1) Circulation, Official Journal of the American Heart Association, 2005: Vol. 112, Issue 22 Supplement

Source: Vidacare

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