Airway Trauma

A high degree of suspicion for actual or impending airway obstruction should be assumed in all trauma patients - Rashid M Khan

Airway Trauma
Airway Trauma

image by: Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention

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Airway management in the adult with direct airway trauma for emergency medicine and critical care

Airway management in patients who have sustained direct trauma to the airway is among the most challenging problems for emergency clinicians. Blunt or penetrating injuries to the head, oropharynx, neck, or upper chest can result in immediate or delayed airway obstruction...

In some patients, a surgical airway may be the first and only choice for airway intervention. Severe injuries to the face, larynx, or supraglottic tissues may create an obstruction or an anatomic disruption that prevents the airway manager from gaining access to the glottis and performing tracheal intubation... Of note, there is no absolute contraindication to cricothyrotomy in a patient who is dying of respiratory…

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 Airway management in the adult with direct airway trauma for emergency medicine and critical care

Face and neck injuries from blunt or penetrating trauma can cause severe bleeding into the oropharynx, expanding hematomas within soft tissue, and disruption of bone and soft tissue. Smoke inhalation, burns of the face and oropharynx, and caustic ingestions are all capable of causing mucosal injury and severe swelling and edema within the oropharynx, larynx, and tracheobronchial tree.

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