Multiple international airway societies have created guidelines for the management of the difficult airway. In critically ill patients, there are physiologic derangements beyond inadequate airway protection or hypoxemia. These risk factors contribute to the "physiologically difficult airway"and are associated with complications including cardiac arrest and death. Importantly, they are largely absent from international guidelines. Thus, we created management recommendations for the physiologically difficult airway to provide practical guidance for intubation in the critically ill. Through multiple rounds of in-person and telephone conferences, a multidisciplinary working group of 12 airway specialists (Society for Airway Management's Special Projects Committee) over a time period of 3 years (2016-2019) reviewed airway physiology topics in a modified Delphi fashion. Consensus agreement with the following recommendations among working group members was generally high with 80% of statements showing agreement within a 10% range on a sliding scale from 0% to 100%. We limited the scope of this analysis to reflect the resources and systems of care available to out-of-operating room adult airway providers. These recommendations reflect the practical application of physiologic principles to airway management available during the analysis time period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine