Emergent Airway Management

General Principles

Recognition of the need to manage a patient’s airway must be made in a timely and rapid fashion. Respiratory failure can occur suddenly and without obvious signs and symptoms. Increasing evidence shows that to prevent poor outcomes, the most experienced provider should perform the intubation.


The need to emergently manage an airway typically arises because of:

  • Loss of airway protective reflexes
  • Respiratory failure
  • Cardiopulmonary arrest

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