Airway management disasters account for a large proportion of malpractice lawsuits in the American Society of Anesthesiologists’
(ASA) Closed Claims database.
Airway loss is a major cause of preventable prehospital death in trauma patients.
Trauma airway management is complicated because of associated
pathology and suboptimal intubating conditions, and also because complete preintubation evaluation and planning is rarely possible.
Furthermore, trauma patients are at increased risk for hypoxia, airway obstruction, hypoventilation, hypotension, and aspiration.
Regardless of the urgency associatedwith any particular intubation event, several key drugs and airway management tools are universally required; these should be available (and guaranteed to be inworking order) for the physician providing airway management for the trauma patient.
Essential emergency airway equipment include: (1) an oxygen (O2) source and various types of administration devices; (2) an assortment of oral and nasal airways, alongwith a bag-valvemask ventilation device capable of applying positive pressure ventilation (and able to deliver 100%O2);intubation equipment (including laryngoscopes, styletted and pretested endotracheal tubes [ETTs]); (4) suction tubing and a tonsil tipped suction device; (5) a functioning intravenous (IV) catheter; (6) prelabeled syringes containing induction and resuscitation drugs including vasopressors and inotropes; (7) appropriate monitors and intubation detectors.