Myth: IO is only for children

Actually IO was used in adults long before it was used in children. During World War II, adult IO was the standard of care for military medics treating casualties in shock. After the war, IO became a lost art. This was because until the late 1960s there were not yet any EMS systems in the US. No paramedics, no need for IVs or IOs.

Intraosseous infusion became the standard of care for pediatrics in the US after Dr. Orlowski’s article, “My Kingdom for an Intravenous Line” in 1985.

Adult IO use did not reemerge in popularity, largely because of the difficulty in penetrating the relatively tough infusion became the standard of care for pediatrics in the US after Dr. Orlowski’s article, “My Kingdom for an Intravenous Line” in 1985. Adult IO use did not reemerge in popularity, largely because of the difficulty in penetrating the relatively tough cortex of adult bones with then available manual IO insertion devices.

Interest in IO for adults peaked only recently. This is mainly due to the introduction of three FDA-approved IO access devices (FAST, BIG and EZ-IO). For the first time major guidelines like ACLS have recommended adult IO as “a promising technique to establish emergency access in adult patients”. Based on the relative incidence of shock in adults and children, it is estimated that 30 times more adults than childrencould benefit from IO access than children.