Difficult Intubation In A Newborn

The unanticipated difficult neonatal intubation in L&D greatly complicates neonatal resuscitation. This discussion highlights the approach to difficult ventilation & intubation in the newborn. #FOAMED Read More …

Exhaling During Manual Ventilation Is As Important As Inhaling

One of my readers recently asked a very important question about ventilating a patient with a bag-valve-mask device: “Is there an outlet for the expired air of the patient?” The answer is yes. When ventilating a patient we are concentrating, and rightfully so, on watching the lungs expand and verifying that we hear breath sounds. It is just as important to verify that your patient can exhale. All ventilation devices have a built in pressure relief valve, also called a pop-off valve, which allows you to balance the force needed to expand the lungs with the ability to the patient to passively exhale. Failure to allow exhalation can lead to patient injury from barotrauma. Read More …

Airway Emergency: Start With The Basics of Airway Management

A case of “can’t intubate- can’t ventilate is discussed which illustrates the importance of always using good techniques of basic airway management. Read More …

Difference in Manual Ventilation: Self-Inflating Ventilation Bag vs. a Free Flow Inflating Bag

Ventilating with a bag-valve-mask device requires a good mask seal against the face in order to generate the pressure to inflate the lungs. But it also requires knowledge of how to effectively use the ventilation device to deliver a breath. This article discusses the difference in the use of a self-filling ventilation bag and a free-flow ventilation bag. Read More …

Alert: We May All Be Over-Inflating Our LMA Cuffs!

The laryngeal mask airway, or LMA, is so commonly used, and so apparently safe, that it’s easy to become complacent. Research is showing that it’s apparently very common for us to over-inflate our LMA cuffs — to the potential harm of our patients. This article discusses some of the risks of overinflation, the predispositions to overinflation, and some of the strategies to avoid it. Read More …

Mask Ventilation: Avoiding Hand Fatigue

Those of us who ventilate patients have all been there. We’ve been ventilating a patient with a bag-valve-mask device during a prolonged and difficult intubation process and our hand holding the mask starts to cramp. When ventilating a patient with a mask, it’s important to know how to open and airway and provide positive pressure breaths. However, it’s also important to know how to do so in a way that conserves your grip strength. Ventilating with a mask can be very tiring to your hand. Prolonged “masking” can tire your hand to the extent that you lose grip strength and coordination — making maintenance of an open airway harder to sustain over time.
Here we discuss tips on how to ventilate effectively while avoiding hand fatigue. Read More …

Potential Tongue Ischemia with LMA Supreme

When we place anything in the mouth, be it an endotracheal tube, oral airway or LMA, we are typically extremely careful to protect the teeth. We take care to avoid cutting the lips with the teeth. But we often take the safety of the tongue for granted. I recently recognized a potential problem while using an LMA supreme that could have caused tongue ischemia if not recognized and corrected. Read More …

Assisting Ventilation With Bag-Valve-Mask

As an anesthesiologist, I often run to emergencies where the patient is not breathing adequately and requires intubation. However, before any intubation, a patient in respiratory distress/failure needs ventilation. Providers who have passed ACLS are often able to ventilate an apneic patient well because they have practiced on the manikin.

Providers who infrequently need to ventilate an apneic patient will have more difficulty assisting the ventilation of a patient who is still breathing spontaneously. In addition, providers will occasionally hesitate to try to assist a patient’s breathing while waiting for the intubation team because they feel they don’t know how. Delay in improving ventilation can place your patient at higher risk of complication. This is unfortunate because in many ways assisting ventilation is even easier than manually ventilating an apneic patient. This article reviews the mechanic of breathing to show how to assist ventilation. Read More …

LMA Supreme: Great Invention But Insert It Gently

Ease of insertion, presence of a gastric port, and the option for using higher ventilatory pressures make the LMA Supreme more versatile and applicable for use in higher risk patients. This article will discuss the differences between the LMA Supreme and The Classic LMA, detail how to insert the Supreme to optimize positioning in the oropharynx and provide guidance on how to avoid patient injury. Read More …