A primer on intraosseous access: History, clinical considerations, and current devices


  • James M. Burgert, DNAP




complications, contraindications, indications, intraosseous, resuscitation


Objective: Intraosseous (IO) access is a method recommended by the American Heart Association and the European Resuscitation Council to administer resuscitative drugs and fluids when intravenous (IV) access cannot be rapidly or easily obtained. Many clinicians have limited knowledge or experience with the IO route. The purpose of this review was to provide the reader with a succinct review of the history, clinical considerations, and devices associated with IO access.

Design: Narrative review.

Setting: University-based academic research cell.

Main Outcome Measures: Not applicable.

Results: Not applicable.

Conclusions: IO access is a lifesaving bridge to definitive vascular access that may be considered when an IV cannot be rapidly attained and the patient's outcome may be negatively affected without prompt circulatory access. The IO route has few contraindications for use and a low rate of serious complications. Multiple manual and powered devices that may be placed in several anatomic sites are commercially available. All clinicians who provide acute care or respond to cardiovascular emergencies should obtain training and maintain proficiency in placing and using IO devices as the IO route is recommended by the major resuscitation organizations as the preferred route of infusion when rapid, reliable IV access is unavailable.

Author Biography

James M. Burgert, DNAP

Research Scientist, The Geneva Foundation for Military Medical Research, Tacoma, Washington; Adjunct Associate Professor, Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Program, College of Health Sciences, Midwestern University, Glendale, Arizona


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How to Cite

Burgert, DNAP, J. M. “A Primer on Intraosseous Access: History, Clinical Considerations, and Current Devices”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 11, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 167-73, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2016.0236.