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Airway Adjuncts, Emergency Medicine

Reviewed 06/2017



  • Airway adjuncts are devices used for management of the upper airway

  • Often used as rescue techniques/devices when unable to intubate with standard techniques and difficult to mask vent...


Signs and Symptoms

Physical Exam

  • Predictors of difficult to bag-mask ventilate (MOANS)

    • M – Mask seal (beards/structural abnormality)

    • O – Obese or obstructed

    • A – Advanced age (>55 yr)

    • N – No tee...



  • Options for patients requiring prehospital airway management vary by region and include:

    • Bag-valve-mask ventilation ± OPA or NPA

    • Orotracheal intubation (±RSI)

    • Nasotracheal intubatio...



Admission Criteria

Almost all intubated patients should be admitted to an ICU or OR 

Discharge Criteria

Rarely, ED patients who have been intubated may be extubated in the ED and dis...

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Failure to ventilate is a life-threatening condition

  • Assess every patient for the possibility of difficult mask ventilation or intubation

  • Always formulate a back-up plan in case of a...

Additional Reading

  • Murphy  MF. Airway management. In: Wolfson  AB, Hendey  G, Ling  L, et al., eds. Harwood-Nuss’ Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Willia...



  • 96.01 Insertion of nasopharyngeal airway

  • 96.02 Insertion of oropharyngeal airway

  • 96.05 Other intubation of respiratory tract


0CHY7BZ Insertion of Airway into Mouth and Throat, Via Natural ...

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