Airway management of critically ill patients has been enhanced by the recent introduction of several new types of artificial airways and laryngoscopes. New drugs for sedation and neuromuscular blockade have been developed to facilitate care of the intubated patient. Guidelines for management of the difficult airway have been introduced. Several new prospective studies have improved our understanding of complications of intubation and how to avoid these sometimes tragic events. A consensus is evolving that TLI and tracheotomy each have clear advantages and disadvantages in prolonged airway maintenance and that multiple factors, not simply the duration of TLI, must be considered in the optimal timing of tracheotomy for each patient. Complex medicolegal and ethical issues directly impact intubation, perhaps more so than any other practice in critical care medicine. Physicians who care for critically ill patients should be familiar with these recent developments and concepts in airway management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine