How to Kill a Patient During Airway Management

Airway Management is just that…managing the airway upside down and inside out. Take a quick read of the PDF or listen to EM:RAP’s November MP3 audio podcast called Strayerisms: Fluid Filled Airway. It’ll float your boat.

Correct ET tube placement, but if you tube the esophagus, leave the ET tube in place and use it as a landmark.

According to Dr. Reuben Strayer MD, the author, there are four ways to harm your patient during airway management: failure to oxygenate; failure to ventilate; worsening perfusion; and aspiration. His suggestions are doable no matter where you practice or what resources you lack…remember…your greatest resource is knowledge.

 

 

 

Who Knew? Probably the oldest recovered boat in the world, the Pesse canoe, found in the Netherlands, is a dugout made from the hollowed tree trunk of a Pinus sylvestris that was constructed somewhere between 8200 and 7600 BC. This canoe is exhibited in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands. (Not looking too seaworthy these days.)

 

 

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.