Resuscitation Airway

The airway should be protected in all patients and secured in those patients whose ventilation is not adequate. In most patients with severe trauma or any airway problem, endotracheal intubation is preferred. If endotracheal intubation is not possible, a prompt coniotomy (cricothyroidotomy) may be required.

After an endotracheal tube is inserted, care must be taken to ensure that it is not in the esophagus. This can be checked by listening over the chest and epigastrium. If the breath sounds are better over the epigastrium, the tube is probably in the esophagus. If the tube is in the esophagus, it should be kept there as a guide until the endotracheal tube has been properly placed. Esophageal intubation is also confirmed if the end-tidal PCO2 during expiration is less than 10 mmHg (1.3 kPa).

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