For the purposes of this session the following definitions are used:

Difficult airway is being used to describe:

  • Problems with bag-valve mask ventilation (BVM) despite repositioning and use of adjuncts, as covered in the session Basic Airway Management in the Adult
  • Difficulties in intubation when attempted by a competent airway practitioner

Failed intubation is the inability to successfully place an endotracheal tube after three attempts by a competent airway practitioner [4].

Can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate (CICO) is when a failed intubation is compounded by an inability to maintain adequate oxygen saturation with BVM.

The image shows a saturation monitor displaying low sats.

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