Clinical Practice Guideline: Emergent Airway Management

Brief Description:  
• Emergent airway management carries a high risk of difficult intubation and patient injury, primarily through hypoxia, hypotension or aspiration. (See the Emergency Airway Policy for details on airway management at OSUWMC. For airway management in COVID-19 patients, refer to Appendix B.)  Appropriately credentialed and experienced providers should perform airway management.
Multiple levels of airway support are available based on levels of difficulty and urgency (see Levels of Airway Support).
An organized, team based approach with assigned team roles and responsibilities is important to anticipate problems and avoid errors (see below)). Such an approach should include an airway time-out to establish a shared mental model, optimize the patient, and prepare for airway management