Airway management is fraught with difficulties. These include:

  • Failing to be prepared well in advance of a potential difficult airway situation
  • Not recognising that an airway may be difficult or may become difficult soon (e.g. upper airway burns)
  • Being falsely reassured by a lack of indicators of difficulty
  • Not calling for help early
  • Pursuing attempts to place an endotracheal tube rather than maintaining oxygenation
  • Not recognising when a can’t intubate/can’t ventilate scenario has arisen and there is an immediate need for a surgical airway
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