Severe acute respiratory syndrome-corona virus-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is highly contagious. Airway management of patients with COVID-19 is high risk to staff and patients. We aimed to develop principles for airway management of patients with COVID-19 to encourage safe, accurate and swift performance. This consensus statement has been brought together at short notice to advise on airway management for patients with COVID-19, drawing on published literature and immediately available information from clinicians and experts. Recommendations on the prevention of contamination of healthcare workers, the choice of staff involved in airway management, the training required and the selection of equipment are discussed. The fundamental principles of airway management in these settings are described for: emergency tracheal intubation; predicted or unexpected difficult tracheal intubation; cardiac arrest; anaesthetic care; and tracheal extubation. We provide figures to support clinicians in safe airway management of patients with COVID-19. The advice in this document is designed to be adapted in line with local workplace policies.
Keywords: COVID-19; airway; anaesthesia; coronavirus; critical care; difficult airway; intubation.
© 2020 The Authors. Anaesthesia published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Anaesthetists.