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Open Badges Commentary

Unplanned extubation in the ICU: a marker of quality assurance of mechanical ventilation

Óscar Peñuelas12, Fernando Frutos-Vivar12 and Andrés Esteban12*

Author Affiliations

1 Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Carretera de Toledo, km 12500, Getafe, 28905 Madrid, Spain

2 CIBERES, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28039, Madrid, Spain

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Critical Care 2011, 15:128  doi:10.1186/cc10049

See related research by de Groot et al.,

Published: 8 March 2011


One of the most frequent complications associated with endotracheal intubation itself in intensive care units is unplanned extubation, which represents a potentially serious complication given that many patients may need reintubation while in poor condition. This scenario may account for an increase in morbidity and even in mortality. To be able to compare the rates of unplanned extubation in clinical practice, unplanned extubation should be expressed as incidence density of days at risk. Also, this complication (unplanned extubation and reintubation rates) may be used as a marker of quality of weaning care in intensive care units.