LAS VEGAS—There are eight questions every emergency physician should consider regarding airway management according to Michael A. Gibbs, MD FACEP, professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. He covered each in his Sunday session—noting that it’s a companion lecture to a session covering case studies later in the day and an advanced airway techniques lab on Monday.
Dr. Gibbs said the biggest challenge facing emergency physicians with regard to airway management is that they care for the sickest of the sick with little margin for error. “The collective goal is to achieve first pass success in every patient,” he said. “We know it’s not achievable 100 percent of the time, but it’s a rule.”
He emphasized that, while some airways are more difficult than others, “there’s no such thing as an easy airway. By definition, all patients requiring urgent intubation are difficult airways,” he said. “Every case needs to be approached with the same level of sophistication and rigor.”