Article

Lung

, Volume 189, Issue 3, pp 181-192

First online:

Airway Management in Critically Ill Patients

  • Donald E. G. GriesdaleAffiliated withDivision of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaProgram of Critical Care Medicine, Vancouver General HospitalDepartment of Anesthesia, Vancouver General HospitalDepartment of Anesthesia, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British ColumbiaCentre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute Email author 
  • , William R. HendersonAffiliated withDivision of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaProgram of Critical Care Medicine, Vancouver General Hospital
  • , Robert S. GreenAffiliated withDepartment of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie UniversityDivision of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesia, Dalhousie University

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Abstract

In critically ill patients, endotracheal intubation is associated with a high risk of complications, including severe hypoxemia and hypotension. The purpose of this review is to discuss the definitions, complications, airway assessment, and patient optimization with respect to these patients. In addition, we present different approaches and techniques to help secure the airway in critically ill patients. We also discuss strategies to help minimize the risk of a difficult or failed airway and to mitigate the severe life-threatening complications associated with this high-risk procedure.

Keywords

Intubation Intratracheal Critical care Critically ill