Airway management

Posted by e-Medical PPT Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In nearly all circumstances airway management is the highest priority for clinical care. This is because if there is no airway, there can be no breathing, hence no oxygenation of blood and therefore circulation will soon cease.
There are a variety of artificial airways which can be used to keep a pathway between the lungs and mouth/nose. The most commonly used in long term or critical care situations is the endotracheal tube(ET tube),with a cuff which is inflated to seal off the trachea and prevent any vomit being aspirated into the lungs. In some cases. a laryngeal mask airway (LMA) is a suitable alternative to an endotracheal tube, and has the advantage of requiring a lower level of training that an ET tube.In the case of a choking patient, laryngoscopy or even bronchoscopy may be performed in order to visualise and remove the blockage.
An oropharyngeal airway or nasopharyngeal airway can be used to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway. When these airways are inserted properly, the rescuer does not need to manually open the airway with a head tilt/chin lift or jaw-thrust maneuver. Aspiration of blood, vomitus, and other fluids can still occur with these two adjuncts.
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