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Airway management outside the operating room: how to better prepare

Peter G Brindley, Martin Beed, J Adam Law, Orlando Hung, Richard Levitan, Michael F Murphy, Laura V Duggan
Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia, Journal Canadien D'anesth├ęsie 2017, 64 (5): 530-539
28168630
Airway management outside the operating room is associated with increased risks compared with airway management inside the operating room. Moreover, airway management-whether in the intensive care unit, emergency department, interventional radiology suite, or general wards-often requires mastery of not only the anatomically difficult airway but also the physiologically and situationally difficult airway. The 2015 Difficult Airway Society Guidelines encourage the airway team to "stop and think". This article provides a practical review of how that evidence applies during emergency airway management outside of the operating room. To counter the challenges of airway management outside the operating room, we offer a mnemonic that combines both technical and non-technical insights summarized using the seven letters of the word PREPARE (P: pre-oxygenate/position; R: reset/resist; E: examine/explicit; P: plan A/B; A: adjust/attention; R: remain/review; E: exit/explore). We hope it can unite potentially disparate personnel with a structure that allows them to make acute decisions, coordinate action, and communicate unequivocally. This multidisciplinary publication also hopes to encourage common understanding and language between anesthesiologists and non-anesthesiologists about the perils of airway management outside the operating room and the importance of airway teamwork.

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