Airway Management in Trauma Patients

  • Michal BarakEmail author
  • Yoav Leiser
  • Yoram Kluger


Establishing a definitive airway in a trauma patient is a primary essential of early management. Any flaw in airway management may lead to grave morbidity or mortality. Occasionally, the caregiver may encounter difficulties in intubating the patient for anatomical or technical reasons, especially if the trauma involves the face and neck regions. In addition, trauma patient is generally regarded as having a “full stomach” and often has not been cleared of a C-spine injury. These may complicate airway management furthermore. The time available to accomplish airway control is short, and the patient’s condition may deteriorate rapidly. Both decision-making and performance are impaired in such circumstances. In order to improve airway management capability, the physician has to understand the complexity of the situation, be familiar with various airway devices and alternative ventilation techniques, and have experience in several emergency airway skills.

In this chapter we discuss airway evaluation, present several airway devices and techniques, and propose an approach that may assist the surgeon in airway management of the trauma patient.


Airway management Mask ventilation Difficult intubation In-line stabilization 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Department of Anesthesiology, Rambam Health Care Campus, and the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Rambam Health Care Campus, and the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of General Surgery, Pancreatic Surgery Service, Rambam Health Care Campus, and the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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