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Airway management in trauma

Author(s): Rao B | Singh Vinod | Ray Sumit | Mehra Manju

Journal: Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
ISSN 0972-5229

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 98;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Airway | Trauma | Endotracheal Intubation

Airway Management for the victims of major trauma is the first priority in the care of the trauma victim and is a core skill in emergency medicine and critical care. Endotracheal intubation remains the gold standard for trauma airway management. Airway management in trauma patients is not just the capability to insert an oral/nasal airway or endotracheal tube beyond the vocal cords. The five components integral to modern, sophisticated airway management in trauma patients include equipment, pharmacologic adjuncts, manual techniques, physical circumstances, and patient profile. A trauma patient may require airway management in a variety of physical circumstances. Whereas, the commonly used airway management algorithms may not suffice in all these situations, the construction of a truly complete decision tree is also virtually impossible. There is consensus that it is not the intervention per se but rather the conditions, skills, and performance that might be the possible variables that affect outcome. Paramedics have only limited experience and on-the-job skills for invasive airway management. Difficult airway management is best left for the experienced physicians to handle.
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