Emergency airway management (EAM) is associated with a high rate of complications, morbidity, and mortality. Handheld point-of-care ultrasound shows promise as an emerging technology to facilitate rapid screening for difficult laryngoscopy, identify the cricothyroid membrane for potential cricothyroidotomy, and assess for increased aspiration risk, as well as provide confirmation of proper endotracheal tube positioning. This review summarizes the available evidence for the use of point-of-care ultrasound in EAM, provides an algorithm to facilitate its incorporation into existing EAM practice to improve patient safety, and serves as a framework for future validation studies.
Keywords: POCUS; airway management; emergency airway management; intubation; point-of-care ultrasound; ultrasound.
Copyright © 2020 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.