Crash Rapid Sequence Intubation (RSI): Clear the Runway for the Crashing Airway Patient

Twenty years ago I was a volunteer at a small rural hospital. A trauma patient was on the way in and I asked the nurse to prime two IV bags, open the BVM and ETT. She declined and said their policy was not to open supplies until at bedside. I get it…supplies are a resource not to be wasted…but having a dedicated airway kit prepped and ready at the bedside is crucial to RSI success.

The crash airway mnemonic SOAP ME runs down the list of everything you need for a successful Rapid Sequence Intubation (RSI) in the crashing airway patient. EM:RAP’s September podcast of Critical Care Mailbag: The Crash Checklist by Anand Swaminathan MD and Scott Weingart MD should be on everyone listening list.

Review what the mnemonic SOAP ME checklist stands for; how to temporize the crashing airway; how to treat the obstructed airway; and most importantly…tips on how to be ready for any airway headed for a crash and burn.

Heres a quick reference for SOAP ME. What’s in your kit? Leave a comment and start the dialogue.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Who Knew? William Macewan (1848-1924), a Glasgow surgeon, invented a type of endotracheal tube pictured. He was the first person to use an endotracheal tube to give a patient anaesthetic, in 1878. A tube was placed in the larynx to give the patient a dose of chloroform. These examples are made from steel and brass. They range in length from 210 mm to 80 mm for patients of all sizes.

 

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