Orotracheal intubation

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1988 Nov;6(4):699-713.


The advantages of endotracheal intubations are many: patency of airway is reasonably assured, secretions may be removed easily from the tracheobronchial tree, the airway is better protected against aspiration, ventilation can be regulated, and drugs can be administered. The procedure is the "gold standard" of airway control, and the oral route is the most common used. The patient is assessed for potential difficulties that may arise from abnormalities of face and mouth: large face, large tongue, hypoplastic mandible, prominent or diseased maxillary teeth or facial fractures; or abnormalities of the neck: potential or real cervical spine instability, swelling, or laryngeal trauma. A plan is devised, together with one or more alternatives, should unforeseen difficulties arise, and in adherence to the principle of never removing the compensations of a coping patient. The skill is learned and practiced so that a gentle facility is always present at times of greatest need.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Mouth
  • Mouth Abnormalities
  • Neck