The Shocked Intubation: Definitive Airway Sans Hypotension

The Shocked Intubation: Definitive Airway Sans Hypotension

Not many aspects of Emergency Medicine define our specialty better than resuscitation, and few concepts exemplify resuscitation better than shock and intubation.  Yet few words together strike greater fear in the minds of savvy resuscitationists.  Not because we cannot deftly manage shock, or because we are anything but hardy intubators, but because the swiftest way to transform a living patient into a dying patient or a dying patient into a dead patient is to brazenly intubate someone who is in shock.  What are the root causes of endotracheal intubation's (ETI) hemodynamic effects and, most importantly, how do we circumnavigate them?  Read on to learn how to safely intubate the patient in shock…

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The Last Gasp

The Last Gasp

It is undoubted that effective airway management is a critical link in the care of patients with both in-hospital cardiac arrest and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.  But how exactly should one manage the airway?  What results in the best outcomes for our patients? Should we be aiming to intubate every patient? Or, are extraglottic devices as effective (or more effective)? What about the good old bag-valve mask?  In our most recent Journal Club we explored the evidence surrounding airway management in cardiac arrest, covering 3 high impact articles.  We also touch on an abstract presented at the 2018 SAEM Academic Assembly which should add significantly to the body of literature when it is published in full.  Take a listen to our recap podcast below and/or read on for the summaries and links to the articles.

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The Future of Airway Management?

The Future of Airway Management?

What is the future of airway management in the ED?  How can we make our practice more effective and more efficient?  In this journal club recap, we focus on 2 topics emerging in the literature - flush rate O2 for pre-oxygenation and head of bed elevation during intubation.

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Protect Me! "Flights" #4 Recap

Protect Me! "Flights" #4 Recap

Welcome to the Final Recap of our “Flights” Case Series!

Thanks to all those who participated in the discussion and to those who tuned into the “Flights” cases throughout the spring and summer.  The final "Flights" cases centered in on several challenging airway scenarios.  Penetrating neck trauma with a tracheal injury; GSW to the face with significantly altered anatomy; and a tracheostomy displaced and a patient with critical hypoxia - airway management in the field requires a nimble mind and knowledge of one's own equipment.  Take a look at our thoughts on the cases and see what you might do in similar situations.

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"Flights" - Shaken Recap & Expert Commentary

"Flights" - Shaken Recap & Expert Commentary

Thanks to everybody who commented and contributed to the discussion on our final “Flight!”  If you missed out on the case, check it out here. Below you’ll find a curation of the comments to each question and a podcast with expert commentary from Jenn Lakeberg, APRN.  This was the final “Flight” for this spring/summer.  Look for the cases to return again in January 2016 as we begin Flight MD Orientation with the next class of future Air Care Flight Docs.

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Favorite Positions!

Favorite Positions!

Multiple casualties are brought to you from a house fire.  There are four victims:

  1. A 5’11” 70 kg woman with a GCS of 8
  2. A 5’9” 140 kg man with circumferential burns of the chest and neck
  3. A 20 month-old with a pedi-GCS of 10
  4. An elderly, 5’6” 65 kg man with no burns, but a history of severe CHF and complaining of chest pain and dyspnea

You determine that they all require intubation for various indications.  You choose RSI as the method for all except the morbidly obese patient, who you intend to intubate awake, with sedation and topical airway anesthesia.

Question:

How would you position each of these patients to optimize your chances of successful intubation on the first attempt?

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Endotracheal Intubation vs. Supraglottic Airway Placement for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Endotracheal Intubation vs. Supraglottic Airway Placement for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

If you want to get a group of prehospital providers riled up, simply ask them how the airway should be managed during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.  "Supraglottic airways are easier!"  "No, you gotta stay with endotracheal intubation!"  "Forget advanced airways, a bag-valve mask is all you need!"  "Only apneic oxygenation!"  Don't believe me?

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Flights - One Road too Far - Curated Comments & Expert Commentary

Flights - One Road too Far - Curated Comments & Expert Commentary

Thanks to everyone who chimed in for our first ever "Flight"!!  If you didn't get a chance to read the case, take a look here.  There was some excellent discussion on how best to care for the blunt polytrauma patient.  Below is the curated comments from the community and Dr. Hinckley's take on the questions posed to the community.

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Hemoptysis

Hemoptysis

What is it?  Bleeding below the cords

More specifically, it may be subdivided into Massive and Non-Massive hemoptysis.  And while the definitions of massive vary from paper to paper, it is generally agreed that increasing volume over 24 hours is associated with increased mortality.  However, the literature consistently concludes that patients and providers are poor, at best, at estimating volume.  Thus, the simplest and most effective definition for massive hemoptysis is as such: expectoration of blood causing hemodynamic instability or abnormal gas exchange / airway obstruction.

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"Video Laryngoscopy" Needs to Die

"Video Laryngoscopy" Needs to Die

Let the record show, this is not a debate for or against the use of video cameras on laryngoscopes. It’s not really a debate at all. It’s a plea. An honest plea…

The “DL vs. VL” debate has been had. It will continue to be had as our research evolves and our tools evolve (and we will participate). But, I beg of us as a community to pause and collectively consider a point of order: our discussion and debate, and worse our education of novice critical care providers, and even worse our research, is becoming marred by the fact that we aren’t all speaking the same language. We often throw around terms without RIGOROUS attention to detail.

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Grand Rounds Recap - 8/20/14

Grand Rounds Recap - 8/20/14

An Update on CHF w/ Dr. Fermann

The phenotype of acute presentation of heart failure can be dramatically different. Consider the difference between the hypotensive patient who has very poor cardiac output now in cardiogenic shock requiring pressors (these have a very poor outcome), the normotensive patient who has slowly become retained fluid, and the acutely hypertensive patient who presents in extremis (who actually does quite well even though they are so sick on arrival).

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Intubating (not in the SRU)

Intubating (not in the SRU)

Logistics are pretty much everything.  A focus on logistics is what helps UPS deliver 500,000,000 during the holiday season.  A focus on logistics is what helped the Allies win World War II.  But logistics doesn’t just happen on the global, macroscopic scale.  Logistics plays a role in every procedure we do in the ED and in the prehospital environment.  If you only focus on learning the mechanics of physically performing a procedure, you are neglecting crucial steps that will help ensure your success.  In this our latest podcast in the Air Care and Mobile Care Online Flight MD Orientation, Dr. Steuerwald and Dr Hill discuss some of the complicating factors for prehospital airways, focusing on both some of the logistical issues that come into play and some of the mechanical/physical considerations.

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What Makes an Airway Difficult

What Makes an Airway Difficult

What Makes an Airway Difficult? In short, a lot of different factors play into making an airway difficult.  In general, they can be broken down into anatomicphysiologic, and logistic.  We'll cover some of the logistical issues that can complicate intubations on a later post (mostly with regards to intubation in the HEMS and prehospital  setting).

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