Performing an intubation while a patient is awake can be nerve-wracking, so emergency physicians should prioritize learning how to do awake intubations so they feel routine.
In her presentation, “Paranoid to Paralyze: How to Safely Perform Awake Intubations,” Amy F. Ho, MD, assistant medical director at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, will discuss tricks of the trade for doing awake intubations so emergency physicians aren’t left scrambling at the last minute on a difficult airway.
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Dr. Ho will give recommendations related to proper set up and anesthesia, plus the use of adjuncts and scalpels. She will also provide strategies for maximizing your chances of success, such as having multiple anesthesia modalities and having an extra hand to hold the patient’s head and tongue in an ideal position. She’ll also offer tips for using disposable scopes.
“Practicing awake intubations over and over is a great mental exercise to improve your chances of success when a paralytic may be too dangerous to use,” said Dr. Ho, whose educational session will also include many example photographs as visual aids. “This has been one of my favorite skills to teach my residents and practice on my own when given the chance.”